CNN's pivot to less news-talk and more documentary series in prime time got off to a mixed start with the debut of "Chicagoland" Thursday night.
Despite heavy promotion, the series about the City of Chicago, with a strong focus on Mayor Rahm Emanuel, finished last behind first-place Fox and second-place MSNBC in overall audience.
The total audience numbered only 629,000 viewers for CNN versus 816,000 for MSNBC and 1.43 million for Fox. Sean Hannity was the competition on Fox, while MSNBC featured Lawrence O'Donnell.
But the news was better for CNN in the prime demographic of viewers 25 to 54 year of age where it finished a strong second.
The numbers here were 247,000 for Hannity, 227,000 for "Chicagoland" and 207,000 for O'Donnell.
CNN chief Jeff Zucker has a lot riding on the success of series like "Chicagoland." It is going to be fascinating to watch the numbers now that Zucker has started chopping away at dead ratings weight like Piers Morgan to make room for other kinds of programming.
It's also going to be fascinating to see how the rest of this series does in the ratings.