No joke: Out of an hour’s worth of programming, this is the 90 seconds they’re touting on Because, after all, if you’re a Palin-hater itching to see her demonized, how many options do you have on cable news at 8 p.m.? Oh, right — Olbermann does this every night of the year. Good work, CNN.

Please to contain your surprise upon learning that last night’s debut finished … dead last in its time slot. Yes, even behind whatever it is that Headline News runs during that hour. Good lord. Not even a respectable third place for the premiere? No public curiosity to see Client Number Nine in, er, action?

Parker Spitzer finished 4th in total viewers and the A25-54 demographic. It also lost viewers from the lead-in at 7pmET, John King USA, in total viewers…

Parker Spitzer did improve on the lead-in in the demo, and was up week-to-week in demo as well. A CNN spokesperson tells Mediaite: “We are pleased with the quality of the show and over time we think viewers will be drawn to the more thoughtful discussion and lively debate that Kathleen and Eliot have to offer.”

Reuters has a brutal round-up of the opening night reviews but all you really need to read is the New York Post’s headline to get the flavor. In fact, among all the reactions I’ve seen, the only bit of contrarianism came from a certain conservative atheist — and for once, it wasn’t me. Exit question: Is it already time for a “Parker Spitzer” cancellation watch? Over/under is New Year’s, I guess.