Overhyped, overrated, but fortunately for discerning viewers in the UK, over there, The Percy Moron Show is only a month away from its debut on CNN, supposedly replacing Larry King Live as the great man departs, “the last man out of a burning building” as Jon Stewart put it.
But things at the original cable channel have not been getting any better in the recent past: ratings are sluggish, and there is a rumour going the rounds that Kathleen Parker is about to walk, which could be even worse news for Piers “Morgan” Moron.
As I noted recently, CNN is now firmly third in the cable ratings war behind MSNBC and Fox News Channel (fair and balanced my arse). Larry King has been getting a respectable 635,000 viewers, but over at MSNBC, Rachel Maddow is pulling in more than a million, and at Fox, Sean Hannity gets 2.4 million.
Worse, the show that airs on CNN before King, Parker Spitzer, is not clicking with the viewers, only getting 453,000 of them to tune in last month. That makes it fourth in the 2000 hours time slot, behind Nancy Grace over at HLN. CNN management like Eliot Spitzer – he’s an incisive interviewer – but Parker is rumoured to be unhappy that her co-presenter is hogging the limelight.
As I’ve pointed out before, the 2000 hours slot is important to get right, as it sets up the network for the evening, hence Fox fielding Bill-O and MSNBC Keith Olbermann at that time. Some of Larry King’s audience will be tuning in out of familiarity, but The Percy Moron Show will get no such bonus.
Piers Morgan is about to find out that there’s a difference between doing occasional sleb chats on ITV and an hour long show five days a week. But I reckon that CNN may have a Plan B ready to go if he fouls up. Or should that be “when”?