While many critics panned it as boring -- and it did CNN's news reputation no good -- Larry King's interview with Paris Hilton turned into a ratings bonanza for the network. King, known for his
obsequiousness toward celebrity subjects -- garnered 3.2 million viewers for the program, more than triple his average.
Numbers for the show even exceeded CNN's last two presidential
debates, which pulled 2.78 million and 2.05 million, respectively. "Someone said this is the second-biggest guest you can get in the world," King says. "The first would be Osama Bin Laden. Now, what
is that saying about us?"
CNN heavily promoted the interview, including a countdown clock during "Paula Zahn Now" in the prior slot. And while Anderson Cooper seemed to show contempt for the whole story, he still put together a panel to chat about it on his show.