MSNBC received some gratifying ratings news from the first night of its new prime-time lineup as it showed increases in the 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. hours, even in the absence of its previous leading man, Keith Olbermann.
Of course, the news surrounding Mr. Olbermann’s abrupt departure from the network last week may have fueled some curiosity about what the channel’s hosts might say about him or the circumstances of his break with MSNBC.
Lawrence O’Donnell clearly benefited, as he averaged 1.5 million total viewers for his first night as Mr. Olbermann’s replacement. That was up a little under 50 percent from Mr. Olbermann’s average number in that hour, just over 1 million viewers. And yes, Mr. O’Donnell did pay tribute to Mr. Olbermann, saying he owed his introduction to the network to him.
So did the 9 p.m. host Rachel Maddow, and her show was up by about the same amount to 1.4 million viewers for the hour. Both shows dwarfed the numbers for one competitor, CNN, though as usual, they trailed the leading news channel, Fox News.
At 8 on CNN, Parker-Spitzer had 483,00 viewers while on Fox News, Bill O’Reilly had a dominant 3.5 million. At 9 on CNN, Piers Morgan bumped the number up to 764,000, but Sean Hannity on Fox easily had the top total with 2.2 million.
Source: – NYTimes.com.