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Eliot Spitzer and Kathleen Parker bomb in ratings for CNN talk show premiere

Eliot Spitzer may have a ways to go in his bid for TV stardom.

On Monday, the disgraced former governor of New York bombed in his new prime time CNN talk show with his co-host, the columnist Kathleen Parker. "Parker Spitzer" drew a paltry 454,000 total viewers, according to the Nielsen Co.

That ranked dead last in the cable news race at 8 p.m., far behind Fox News' "The O'Reilly Factor" (3.1 million) and MSNBC's "Countdown With Keith Olbermann" (1.1 million). The premiere was even edged out by HLN's Nancy Grace, who drew 468,000.

One yardstick for "Parker Spitzer" is comparing it with "Campbell Brown," the news program it replaced. The premiere of Brown's show two years ago drew 1.3 million viewers. Brown earlier this year left the network, complaining that her ratings were too low.

CNN, in the middle of a programming overhaul and executive reshuffling, is nevertheless sticking to its guns -- for now. "We are pleased with the quality of the show and over time we think viewers will be drawn to the more thoughtful discussion and lively debate that Kathleen and Eliot have to offer," a network spokeswoman said Tuesday.

--Scott Collins (Twitter: @scottcollinsLAT)

Photo: Eliot Spitzer and Kathleen Parker of "Parker Spitzer"

Credit: CNN

Comments () | Archives (32)

Of what value is this Spitzer guy? He deserves a TV show? He has ruined his family relationship, publically humiliated his wife, and he's SMILING through it? Does he actually think that we'd WANT to watch him and believe anything he says? I can't stand the sight of him and I'm GLAD the ratings were so miserable. He needs to know that most thinking, feeling people believe he is a scumbag louse. Bed bugs have more integrity.

Well, for Pete's sake, give the guy a chance. I would have watched if I'd known it was on. I saw Elliot Spitzer on the Dylan Ratigan Show earlier this year and I thought he was great and I am looking forward to watching the show. Why is everyone so quick to jump to conclusions?????

Wow - I couldn't believe my eyes as I ate my burger at the hotel bar - Eliot Spitzer - the self-disgraced ex-Governor of NY on a tv talk show laughing at Christine O'Donell?? Who is the brain trust who put the snake-looking, smarmy, know-it-all who every woman must hate on their TV programming?

The irony of O'Donell who made a fool of herself in high school (age 16) but quickly woke up and made something of herself as an adult and Spitzer with his "impecable" track record as the "squeaky clean" Gov and Attorney General who lied, cheated and deceived all the closest people in his life by hiring a call-girl numerous times while he was a "fully consenting adult" (age 50) yet he thinks he can laugh at her?? The laugh is on CNN

I'm not watching these two, they are boring. I'll watch the local news until you get your act together in the 5 pm hour CNN. Sorry, try again.

What a horrible idea - no wonder Klein was fired from CNN. Time to send little Elliot Spitzer back to the Mayflower hotel. Room#852, right Elliott? What a disgrace.

Dumgb headline-- did the write watch the show and assess its worth? The number of viewers do not necessarily mean "bombed"--dumb article !!

Negative Nancy anyone? Spitzer is a brilliant person. Although he did taint his family relationship in the past, he's making a comeback because he offers a view based on unique political, business, and legal experience. I will listen to his view and not distract myself with irrelevant negatives. Move on. If you want to focus on irrelevant negatives, watch TMZ . I expect the ratings to go up.

What ARE the CNN execs thinking? ARE they thinking? Maybe they should all fire themselves and go sit drink tequila shots with Rick Sanchez. They lose all their prime talent, now only the talking stuffed moose head Wolf Blitzer and his sidekick, Darth Vader unmasked, are left, and they put Spitzer on TV.

Take that sleazebag, douche, whoring, lying, cheating politician OFF THE AIR!

Thank God for BBC America!!!

Terrible casting on CNN. I hate to see the network go down the TUBE, Viewers want sharp talent like Terry Gross from NPR. Whats with another Brit taking over Larry King too? We can't hire and unemployed American ? Spitzer takes CNN to a new low. I would rather watch Tom and Jerry....

I must admit I tuned in for a few minutes last night out of morbid curiosity. It was unwatchable. Spitzer is a sleaze and Parker is insipid. I give it six weeks-tops.

Just an awful show. He's a sleaze bag and she's a right wing conservative. CNN, you are now Fox 2. ugh.

This new show seems to be a hybrid concept. Thankfully Spitzer was aggressive as usual, I think that is what most people expected , with Lou Dobbs gone there have been no real standout personalities for CNN, I think Spitzer will be an excellent point man for the network. Parker however seemed amateurish, she spent more time insulting Spitzer than making any real points or successful arguments, she was lousy and clearly way out of her league. The "Party" segment is very cheezy but there is a lot of potential here, CNN should look at getting someone more substantial to partner with Spitzer, maybe an attorney or a bold political figure, a columnist who just forms and writes opinions won't cut it in this arena.

Interesting concept needs a little tweaking. Good Luck!

The Parker-Spitzer Show is the best thing I've seen on CNN as far back as I can recall, and I'm a near-dead white male author of seventy two. So I have a long memory and little to do with, and am rapidly becoming obsolete in regard to, the moron culture driving ratings.

They must be throwing up at Neilsen these days in doing the arithmetic of the Great Dumbing Down; or planning to move to Mars.

I hope you are not going to cut Spitzer off because of the morons. Most of them will watch O'Reilly no matter what and believe that the Recession is now "owned" by Obama.

Spitzer may well grow favorably on a smart audience, and you aren't going to have a massive moron audience. Period. CNN viscerally is unable to compete for the morons. Your backers/owners must either accept it or go into the pet-products business .

Anyway, Parker is a non-entity--it's a dumb idea to have her co-hosting and you need to revamp the program into a one-person show--c'mon, show some guts and you just might do fairly well here after a while--but having Spitzer and Stone talking about The Great Recession and Spitzer early on revealing the Mendacious Depths on the Street, the dog-in-the-manger shorting by Goldman, that even the alert and cynical Stone hadn't fathomed until that two hours Spitzer gave Stone in Spitzer's office before "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps," may indeed be the high point, albeit only a few seconds long, of the post mortem on the secretive criminal behavior by a countable number of people which did in many in our 300-million-plus nation. Michael Lewis really did NOT anticipate the Goldman-Paulson short selling betrayals in "The Big Short." And he got closest. But after a LONG TIME.

I remember how terribly hard it was during the lead-up to The Great Recession to find anyone with a handle on what was going on that was sinking us--Kevin Phillips, Kevin Rudd, Lewis, Dorgan, Gasparino (to some extent) and a few others, including the almost inadvertent Confession of the Ayn Rand madness in Greenspan's second addition of "The Age of Turbulence" in which he finally began to get some insight into Twain's observation, "People are no damned good" and that it's especially true without regulations on them in the Financial Sector.

I sincerely doubt you'll have the guts and insight to turn Spitzer loose--the hell with his personal foibles, the man Knows and the public, what of it can read a paragraph without drooling all over their iPods--needs to understand just what's happened economically and, really, in a broader sense.

Let me put it this way. Ali Velsher is useless as a talker about economics. Maybe he could come up with Ali's List.

Spitzer is perhaps our best person, citizen, to talk the truth.

It'd help Obama immensely, even though the President might well not see that for a while.

Please don't scrap Spitzer.

Take a good photograph of Parker, frame it, and hang it on the wall somewhere in the studio.

Yours in no great hopes,

Albert Clarkson

I like Kathleen Parker's editorials. Interesting she criticized Sarah Palin. Interesting that Spitzer thought Geitner should be fired (can't pick on Rahm Immanuel). I do hope they can improve it. Previous post said it was insipid...I understand the comment...(spend 10 minutes forcing people to say something nice about Sarah Palin?).

Maybe a 15 minute or half-hour format would be better.

How can Spitzer show his face ? Go find a prostitute you law-enforcer. Furthermore, how can any American even find interest in watching this disgraced individual on TV ? "News You can Use" ? Anyone who see's this disgusting excuse for a man on TV (like he's in some way honorable) should write CNN and ask them if it's April-1 joke or something.

Isn't this the guy who was governor of NY and then cheated on his wife with call girls? Now CNN has hired him to do a show? CLASSIC.

You didn't promote the show enough. I looked for it when I happened to hear
it was on, but CNN barely let it out that it was showing and I couldn't even find
it anywhere. How do you expect it to get good ratings when no one knew it
even happened?

I cannot believe thy actually gave a show to E. Spitzer! Who the hell cares ahout him or his opinions! I wish Rick Sanchez was still on air, CNN you guys stink for firing a great anchor like him! My interest in CNN has gone down, how more minorities ar you going to fire over their comments?

How many disgruntled hollywood men are they going to wheel out each night to bash Sarah Palin? Now Oliver Stone has had a go. Is this a regular spot? "Our latest Sarah Hating, aging Hollywood mogul is ..."

Pathetic and a bit sad.

I am a CNN and MSNBC fan. I don't care if the content or debate with Eliot Spitzer is something the producers feel might be contributing to expanding our knowledge of current politics....

has lost all credibility with women. I told my husband to change the channel. And he did so gladly! I do not care what Spitzer thinks about anything. Even the trailers and commercials make me wince especially when he says something to the affect of " when she says something I understand, I will listen." My first thought is ... Oh , not used to relating to a woman who is not on her knees. Give me a break!!! The Show is a BIG mistake.

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