Despite a busy news day of bad weather and the mourning of Nelson Mandela, Friday night was not kind to CNN and its primetime hosts Anderson Cooper and Piers Morgan. Cooper’s AC 360 hit not just its lowest viewership and demo results for the year to date but its worst numbers since moving to the 8 PM time slot in August 2011. At 8 PM, the CNN show pulled in 255,000 total viewers with just 58,000 in the adults 25-54 demo, according to Nielsen. Meanwhile, Cooper’s lead-out Piers Morgan Live at 9 PM had its second-worst result all year with 252,000 total viewers and 56,000 adults 25-54. Overall, the Jeff Zucker-run network had its third-worst primetime result of 2013 and its worst Friday viewer numbers since he took over. Just 277,000 were watching the cable news network on average from 8-11 PM — that’s way behind Fox News’ 2.098 million overall viewers and 373,000 in the demo and MSNBC’s 493,000 and 112,000. CNN’s worst overall primetime viewership result came on November 28, when it had 256,000 viewers overall — and Cooper and Morgan didn’t have a show on. The cable news network’s second-worst primetime was October 28 with 259,000 viewers overall.
The Cooper hosted-show’s previous overall viewership low this year was June 11, when AC 360 drew 294,000 viewers. The previous demo low was August 16, when the recently re-upped host’s broadcast had 59,000. The new lows are far behind Fox News Channel’s The O’Reilly Factor, which had 2.423 million viewers overall and 447,000 in the news demo Friday. AC 360 drew less than half what MSNBC’s usually struggling All In With Chris Hayes got with 557,000 viewers and 115,000 among adults 25-54. Looking back a year, AC 360 was down 60% in total viewership and 67% in the key demo from its December 6, 2012 performance. Morgan’s worst overall viewership night of 2013 remains November 25, when he drew 243,000. The show’s worst demo performance of the year remains September 23, when just 52,000 adults 25-54 tuned it.