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George Stroumboulopoulos

The debut of Canadian-born George Stroumboulopoulos' CNN talk show has delivered devastatingly dismal ratings south of the border.

According to Deadline.com, Sunday night's premiere of Stroumboulopoulos drew only 192,000 total U.S. viewers on the cable news network. Within that narrow slice of the viewing audience, only 78,000 people were in the all-important 25-to-54 demographic.

The weak launch for Stroumboulopoulos was the second-lowest rating for CNN in the Sunday at 10 p.m. time slot this year and represents a 62-per-cent audience drop compared to the same time slot the week before.

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In terms of direct American cable competition, Fox News handily won the Sunday at 10 p.m. position with 739,000 viewers for Stossel, while MSNBC Investigates earned 391,000 viewers. By TV genre comparison, the AMC drama Mad Men has been pulling U.S. ratings in the 3.5-million viewer range in the same Sunday-night time slot for its current sixth season. As for other CNN talk shows, a recent Nielsens ratings study indicated that CNN's Piers Morgan Tonight averages an audience of 415,000 U.S. viewers nightly.

Although Stroumboulopoulos is off to a shaky start, ratings could improve once the show moves to its regular Friday night at 11 p.m. time slot. CNN was hoping to give the program a ratings boost by airing the first episode immediately after the season finale of the culinary-travel series Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown. Instead, more than half of Bourdain's viewership tuned out of Strombo's show.

In his native Canada, Stroumboulopoulos, 40, is best known from his days as a MuchMusic host and his current job helming the nightly CBC interview series George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight, which routinely generates an average Canadian audience of 250,000 viewers nightly. At present Stroumboulopoulos is slated to return to his CBC duties in September following the CNN show's scheduled 10-week run.

Back in the summer of 2006, Stroumboulopoulos temporarily relocated to Los Angeles to host the ABC reality show The One: Making a Music Star. ABC cancelled the program after four low-rated episodes.

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