By Lucas Shaw
NEW YORK (TheWrap.com) - CNN, say thank you to the GOP.
As the only cable news network with a debate in this
Nielsen month, CNN posted year-over-year gains in its primetime
ratings for October while its rivals saw their numbers dip.
The debate, which averaged 5.5 million viewers, propelled
CNN to second in the adults 25-54 demo during prime time
(201,000 viewers to MSNBC's 190,000), though MSNBC still beat
its rival in total viewers (688,000 to 636,000).
CNN's ratings increased by 25 percent as compared to last
year, though that increase drops to 5 percent if one leaves out
the debate. Fox's prime time ratings are down 28 percent
year-over-year while MSNBC's are down 25 percent. Some of that
may be attributed to strong ratings from the Chilean Miner
story and the lead-up to last year's mid-term elections.
That would seem to make CNN's numbers all the more
impressive, though the network's detractors will say that CNN
only had room to grow -- last year's ratings were especially
Fox News remained head and shoulders above the competition,
claiming the top 10 shows during prime time in the demo and the
top 13 in total viewers. Fox also finished fourth in all of
cable, while both MSNBC and CNN ended outside the top 25.
As for specific shows, the competition is heating up at 8
p.m. and 10 p.m., where MSNBC recently flipped its "Ed Show"
and "Last Word With Lawrence O'Donnell." Anderson Cooper beat
"Ed" and "Last Word" in the demo, but the MSNBC shows won in
total viewers. They also took the demo after the switch, but
November will reveal the true effects of the change.
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