Despite its best intentions — and the $1.8 million it raised — CNN’s two-hour star-studded (Justin Bieber!) Larry King-hosted telethon benefiting Gulf oil spill victims failed to draw the audience producers might have hoped for.
According to figures released by Nielsen, the 8:00 p.m. (ET) hour of the telethon drew about 547,000 total viewers, placing it in fourth behind Fox News’ “O’Reilly Factor” (2.74 million), MSNBC’s “Countdown” (1.01 million) and Nancy Grace (787,000). The telecast averaged about 153,000 25-to-54-year-old viewers during the first hour, also fourth among its cable competitors.
At 9:00 p.m. the show fared a little better (647,000 total viewers), moving ahead of HLN’s Joy Behar (586,000) for third place. Between 8 and 10, the telethon was fourth overall.
The numbers also paled in comparison to CNN’s January broadcast of the “Hope For Haiti” telethon, which averaged about 1.187 million total viewers during the same time period, according to Nielsen.