2.24 million people tune in to Larry King’s last show

December 19th, 2010 - 5:01 pm ICT by BNO News  

LOS ANGELES (BNO NEWS) — Around 2.24 million people tuned in to watch radio and TV host Larry King’s last CNN broadcast on Thursday night after a 25-year run, according to numbers released by the Nielson Company.

King, 77, hosted high-profile public figures such as former President Bill Clinton, Donald Trump, Barbara Walters, Regis Philbin, and Tony Bennett during his last, emotional show.

Earlier this year, CNN celebrated 25 years of Larry King Live with a week of shows featuring big-name guests including President Barack Obama, LeBron James, Bill Gates and Lady Gaga.

Only a few weeks later, in late June, King announced he would stop hosting his TV show. “I talked to the guys here at CNN and I told them I would like to end Larry King Live, the nightly show, this fall and CNN has graciously accepted, giving me more time for my wife and I to get to the kids’ little league games,” he said at that time.

King said, however, that he will remain a part of CNN by occasionally hosting Larry King specials on major national and international subjects.

“With this chapter closing I’m looking forward to the future and what my next chapter will bring, but for now it’s time to hang up my nightly suspenders,” King added.

Larry King Live was first aired in 1985 and dominated CNN’s lineup for 25 years, making it the most watched and longest running program with more than one million viewers nightly. But King recently began suffering in the ratings and there was talk about his future on the television network.

Nonetheless, King is widely recognized as one of the world’s best known interviewers. He interviewed tens of thousands of politicians, entertainers, and other newsmakers during his career, which earned him an Emmy Award and many other broadcasting awards.

CNN also announced that America’s Got Talent judge Pier Morgan, 45, of Great Britain will replace Larry King during his time slot. His “Piers Morgan Tonight” will begin airing on January 17. For the rest of December and during the first weeks of January, CNN will be showing previous Larry King shows.

The deal will be a huge boost for Morgan’s career, which will be placing him in a high-rated TV slot to continue with the traditional interviews. However, while ratings are currently high during King’s time slot, they could drop dramatically when he leaves.

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