Larry King Goes Out on Top with Viewers

King scores royal ratings on last show; Piers Morgan to debut Jan. 17

"Larry King Live" went out on top of CNN's cable news competition Thursday, with King yielding 2.24 million total viewers.

Fox News, which had 2.16 million total viewers, beat King in the cherished adults 25-54 demo, earning 543,000 viewers to King's 530,000. MSNBC trailed with 874,000 total viewers and 252,000 in the demo.

King last beat Fox News' Sean Hannity in the 9 p.m. ET time slot on July 7, 2009, with his coverage of Michael Jackson's memorial at the Staples Center.

Meanwhile, King's replacement, Piers Morgan, announced on Twitter that his new show will debut on Monday, Jan. 17.

A slew of guests helped bid King so long, including news anchors Katie Couric, Diane Sawyer, Barbara Walters and Brian Williams in CNN's New York studio. President Barack Obama delivered a taped message, and former President Bill Clinton appeared via remote from Little Rock, Ark.

King's sign-off: