Ratings: Is CNN’s Piers Morgan Shooting Himself in the Foot?

Ratings: Is CNN's Piers Morgan Shooting

In the end, are guns what killed CNN’s “Piers Morgan Live”?

The show, hosted by anti-gun crusader Morgan, continues to struggle in the Nielsens. And this month, the start of the Michael Dunn loud-music murder trial in Florida has put the issue of gun control back in the forefront. February has also produced six of the show’s smallest 10 audiences since it bowed in January 2011.

Tuesday’s telecast, which included coverage of the uprisings in Kiev and an interview with Rudy Giuliani, drew the show’s second smallest audience to date in the key news demo of adults 25-54 (50,000). It also drew just 270,000 total viewers, according to Nielsen, the show’s ninth smallest gathering ever.

“Piers Morgan Live” has fallen below the 300,000-viewer mark on seven other occasions in February. And while the Winter Olympics on NBC may be to blame for some of the audience loss this month, “Piers Morgan” is drawing just a fraction of the audience attracted by competing shows on CNN and MSNBC.

Opposite “Piers Morgan” on Tuesday, “The Kelly File” on Fox News Channel drew 2.07 million viewers (including 354,000 adults 25-54) while MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show” attracted 906,000 (including 227,000 in the demo).

“Piers Morgan Live” isn’t CNN’s only problem in primetime, of course, as the entire lineup has struggled and CNN topper Jeff Zucker has promised that 2014 would be a year of “shake up.” On Tuesday from 8 to 11 p.m., the network averaged just 64,000 adults 25-54 — not far from its all-time low of 57,000 in May 2000.

Morgan has long been an outspoken critic of U.S. gun laws, but the drumbeat has grown louder in the two years since George Zimmerman fatally shot Trayvon Martin. On his CNN show in December 2012, Morgan got into a heated exchange with gun-rights activist Larry Pratt, asking at one point: “You’re an unbelievably stupid man, aren’t you?”

There’s no way to quantify how much of a factor the discussion of gun control on “Piers Morgan Live” has contributed to its ratings (which were never all that great to begin with), but the show’s numbers have fallen more sharply since it became a frequent subject on the show.

Monday’s installment included discussion of the Dunn murder trial and Zimmerman’s assertion in a CNN interview with Chris Cuomo earlier that day that he was a victim.

HLN host Nancy Grace was among the guests, and she didn’t want to hear more gun-control talk from Morgan.

“Are you back on gun control again?” she asked. “If it weren’t for the British, we wouldn’t even have to have protections to carry guns. It was the British way back when they founded America. They were running through all of our homes trying to take our stuff. So we’re protected under the Constitution.

“So it’s not really right for a Brit to jump up and start talking to us about gun control.”

Morgan said he vehemently disagreed, but after a moment’s pause, he said: “Let’s not talk about gun control because Nancy’s made her statement and I was riposted.”

On Tuesday, an interview with Giuliani touched on several subjects but closed on the issue of guns, with Morgan bemoaning that “all the time now, in America, we’re hearing of this casual loss of life through guns. At what point does the gun itself not become a major issue?”

Wednesday’s hour, which featured Dr. Sanjay Gupta and Gayle King talking about the science of loneliness and its possible correlation to violence, grew to 345,000 viewers. The word “gun” wasn’t uttered once, according to a CNN transcript of the program.

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  1. Musashi Hayward says:

    An opinionated “winjing Palm” as the Aussies love to refer to the Brits. Send him packing but please don’t send him
    To Canada

  2. Ando Fiks says:

    Rick Kissell , you’re a joke of a ” reporter” it’s not Pierce, It’s CNN and TV in general, the system sucks, all Tv ratings suck. The fact that Pierce was reasonable in SOME areas like guncontrol didn’t fuck up the show, CNN is a joke like other stations. Keep gathering those guns, see where it takes you.

  3. Bob Mitcham says:

    I have been tempted at times to buy Piers Morgan a one-way ticket back to Britain at my own expense ! My final comment, GOOD RIDDANCE !

  4. Janet Bullis says:

    I am so glad that CNN is getting rid of that arrogant, pompous Pierce Morgan. What a jackass he is!!!

    • Belisarius says:

      In terms of objectivity and integrity, most CNN hosts/anchors/commentators are all equally worthless. Their condescending attitude and petty personal comments as to events or public figures displays the same level of arrogance and ignorance as displayed by their counterparts on trash news channels like Fox.

      I mean, why should anyone care for the snobbish and derogatory comments of a neophyte like Zane Ahser (who has absolutely no academic or professional credentials in political science or international relations) as to a foreign head of state or his nation’s policies? Normally, in a news service worthy of such a name, such comments are left to qualified experts such as, for example, Henry Kissinger.

      As for more senior correspondents like Becky Anderson or C Amanpour, most of their air time is spent on aggrandizing their own sense of self importance while peddling their petty opinions as the word of God on a given subject. I mean, their entire elocution and rhetorical style just oozes with nothing but sheer snobbery! Why would anyone give credence to people who are so conceited that they make even the most arrogant heads of state seem modest.

      All in all, the entire content of this network is nothing more than an endless appeal to snobbery targeting an audience of uninformed petty bourgeois middle class dullards who otherwise have no clue as to the world events developing around them.

  5. Arne Saknussemm says:

    I usually can’t stand Nancy Grace but she was right on saying what she did to this idiot.

  6. He’s needs Alex Jones back on pronto, & I mean ona weekly basis.

  7. Martin Buck says:

    The first Piers in history was the bum boy and flatterer of Edward II, who ended up being tossed out of a high window by an angry mob. The name seems to confer a seedy character to the holder, nothing they do comes to any good. This Piers Morgan is a flagrant law breaker and phone hacker who destroyed lives in Britain. He is a self promoting blow hard, who is incapable of relating to his audience or anyone else. Toss him out of a high rise, too.

  8. pete says:

    Replace him with Ben Swann. Then you will see rating skyrocket. He is an afterthought, and his only viewership is because people forgot to turn off the TV while they gave the kids a bath.

  9. fiso says:

    What is very telling by most of the commenting here would explain why he’s still on CNN. Controvery is food to those parasites. The masters know most Americans can vent whatever frustrations you have by mouth, not fists and you’re reward will be getting names put on the internet. Why don’t you pussy’s try and take back your country and see how satanic it is.

  10. SFSolstice says:

    Give him a show on CNN “International” and let him belly ache about America to his own country and the rest of those other than US countries. And while you are at it take that arrogant I’m so much smarter and think I’m funny Harvard educated silver spooned John Berman with him and throw in that airhead smart as a weather girl Brooke Baldwin who obviously used her looks to move up the ladder and forgot to read any books along the way. That’s it – Piers, Berman & Baldwin out the door and then you might have a chance at doing “real” news at CNN? MIGHT is the operative word here.

    BTW every time you make your “franchise player” Anderson Cooper giggle for four hours and struggle to protect his balls every New Years Eve with that no talented D-lister Kathy Griffin you sink his “news credibility” further down the well. What is running CNN anyway? I don’t think there is an E for entertainment in the logo like ESPN and even they concentrate on their main bread & butter = sports.

    Come on folks. It ain’t that difficult, is it? Really?

  11. Jay Wheat says:

    Morgan is really ” an unbelievable stupid man, isn’t he”. Why does CNN give a show to a foreigner who is not a US citizen and allow him to criticize this country? It’s none of his business. Can’t CNN find a US citizen to do this job.

  12. The Bruce says:

    I can’t stand him because he comes off as an ultra snobby Brit. If he’s so anti-gun and anti-Constitution I suggest he pack his bags and move back to mother and country.

    • EricStoner says:

      Anyone that drops the “c” in schedule to pronounce it sheddule seems to be a snob -) Our bookkeeper from the UK challenged me with “where’s the K” in schedule to which I responded where’s the “K” in school or schooner? Do your children go to shool or, did you sail the seas in you shooner? Talk about snobs:-)

  13. Larry Rutherford says:

    Morgan real problem is he is shallow! And frankly not intertaining…

  14. Fred ellwein says:

    It’s simple…he sucks….he should go home

  15. Mitch Pawl says:

    No his just stinks. I watched him once and I thought he was the worst interviewer in the world. Go back to Britain where you belong.

  16. farang says:

    Morgan is just a boring man, regardless of the subject: why bother?

  17. Sam says:

    I like Piers Morgan. I am self loathing and incapable of relating to achievers. He is me, forever.

  18. Just read to his to soak up a little Schadenfreude! ;-) (/ˈʃɑːdənfrɔɪdə/; German: [ˈʃaːdənˌfʁɔʏdə] ( listen)) is pleasure derived from the misfortunes of others.[

  19. jeff says:

    CNN would do better to run sponge bob.

  20. Did I read this right? Nancy Grace actually stands for a Constitutional Right??? I must say I am taken a back!

  21. ElmoC says:

    Well, he doesn’t have the facts correct, he thinks he has to demonize all the gun owners and he is an obnoxious to boot. In Britain the crime is out if control and they don’t report it. If there are ten crimes in one neighborhood they report it as one and not anything to do with guns. So Goodby Morgan.

  22. Bill says:

    Piers can move back to whence he came. Hmm, they have gun control in Mexico, perhaps he can move there?

    Good by……..and (wait for it

    Good riddence

  23. dupedbyprez says:

    Morgan should be tired of having his butt handed to him over and over again in the debates he hosts. When you don’t let your guests speak or you try to put words into their mouths, they stop wanting to come on your show.

  24. He is a wanted man in England so why is Obama letting him stay here is it because he is doing the dirty work for Obama

  25. It’s too bad nobody can get to the ignorant and uneducated Piers Morgan with a lesson from history.
    During WWII, when Britain was terrified of an impending invasion by Germany. The Brits pleaded with American citizens to loan our privately-owned firearms. Americans generously responded, and the Brits received privately-owned guns from American civilians. After the war some were returned by grateful Brits. But not all. Morgan is incommnucado. He basks in his ignorance. Can anyone enlighten this hustory-deprived imbecile?

  26. SnotPuppy says:

    Could it be that Piers is just a moron and most sane people don’t give a crap what he thinks or says?

  27. tjcollura says:

    He shot himself in the foot with a gun he got from CNN and the bullets he got from the rest of the CNN lineup.

  28. NewzKnight says:

    Maybe nobodies watching because the limey sucks.

  29. Scotty G. says:

    Forcing people to return every night to hear you correct the inflated statistic, or baseless fact, you uttered the night before, is no way to build an audience

  30. DonM says:

    King George was happy enough to have the British citizens of Virgina, New York, MA etc have guns when they were fighting with him against the French in the 7 years war. The various colonial legislatures even voted taxes to support the war. After the war was over the Parliament wanted to enact taxes on the colonists when the colonists were not represented, and because of distance, could not be represented. The Colonial armories with arm bought by the colonies were ordered to be looted by British soldiers. That didn’t go too well.

  31. Are guns killing Morgan and his ratings?

    No, but ‘stupidity’ is surely doing a fine job.

  32. James Andrew says:

    No one wants a Brit telling us our Constitution doesn’t matter. Lecturing the audience just drives them away

  33. Ron G says:

    I think it is Morgan’s pasty complexion, the unbelievable urge people have to punch him in his arrogant face, and his beady eyes and jowly ugliness.

  34. Morgan,….go back home if you don’t like guns, but if history serves me right, it was the British that “conquered” nations of people by the use of the gun.

  35. barak says:

    u mean pierced organ dont u

  36. Mark Records says:

    Why would anyone watch “Larry King Lite.”

  37. S Harris says:

    Ted Turner created CNN as the first twenty four hour news channel and launched it for cable TV. It was a bold, unprecedented foray into news reporting that all “experts” said would never work. It was a resounding success. Bernard Shaw’s reporting from The Al-Rashid Hotel in Baghdad had the world glued to their televisions as video and his commentary streamed live to the rest of the us during The Gulf War in 1991. It was a stunning and staggering achievement for CNN. It was CNN’s finest moment. To be forced to watch Morgan in his milquetoast yet passive-aggressive manner make a feeble attempt at relevancy is an affront to those of us who know what CNN and its reporters were as we are being forced to see what they have become.

  38. Jwparker says:

    sorry.. “individuals.” Variety, I just had to type the last 8 lines of that post blind.

  39. Del says:

    Guns don’t kill piers Morgan
    Piers Morgan kills piers Morgan
    Period

  40. Howard currin says:

    The only 2 Brits that were entertaining to watch Prince Charkes and the late Benny Hill.
    The rest are boring.,

  41. Americans do not want to watch some preachy limey telling them what’s wring with our country.

  42. hudstim says:

    CNN continues to expose its collective corporate ignorance by keeping this loser on the air.

  43. KTK says:

    That and he is a jackass that doesn’t understand our form of government.

  44. Il Duce says:

    This britt phone hacker is going to be going to the slammer in England. He’s a liar and a sneak and not one to be trusted or allowed to work in the USA.

  45. C says:

    He does come across as incredibly stupid if you actually listen to him…for as long as that may be tolerable. Did anyone catch his interview with Ann Coulter where he made it clear that he did not understand or acknowledge the distinction between correlation and causation…it’s as if he’s never taken a statistics 101, yet spews more senseless statistics than almost anyone.

  46. I think you nailed this guy: he calls a guy like Larry Pratt, who handles himself very well and is the head of a decent-sized organization, an “incredibly stupid man.” Then, he calls Rachel Jeantel, who is 19 and still in high school, and can’t read cursive, “one smart cookie.”

    Gun Control is just a medium for him. It doesn’t matter if he were commenting on gun control, or basket weaving, or the succession of English Monarchs. He’s “an incredibly stupid man” or worse, an incredibly mendacious man.

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