Donahue Hits Lowest Ratings Possible

The ratings for TV vet Phil Donahue's new talk show are almost too low to track.

The ratings for Donahue scored a .1 rating last Friday -- that means fewer than 136,000 viewers nationwide were tuned in during MSNBC's hour-long 8 p.m. talk show. 

How bad is that? 

"Donahue's show drew a total U.S. audience a little more than twice the size of [a capacity crowd at] Yankee Stadium," cracked one industry observer. 

The same night Donahue's arch-rival, Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly -- the highest-rated talk-show host on cable -- snared about 1.1 million viewers during the same time period, while CNN's Connie Chung Tonight had 599,000 viewers, according to Nielsen's total U.S. ratings. 

A rating of .1 is not the lowest rating possible. Nielsen experts say it's almost as low as their system can record. 

Shows that draw fewer viewers are identified with hash marks, while shows that score no viewers -- a near impossible occurrence -- score a 0 or are just left blank on the ratings chart. 

News Corp. is the parent company of the Fox News Channel, and the New York Post.

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