07/07/2011 08:36 am ET Updated Sep 06, 2011

Anderson Cooper Joins Tight Market At 8 PM

The hottest time slot in cable news just got a lot hotter.

CNN announced Wednesday that Anderson Cooper's newscast "AC 360" will air at 8 p.m., joining a crowded hour in primetime broadcasting. The CNN anchor, whose ratings have increased considerably as of late, will be up against Fox's Bill O'Reilly, MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell, Current's Keith Olbermann and HLN's Nancy Grace.

It remains to be seen if Cooper will be able to pull in numbers like his competitors -- O'Reilly alone averaged 2.824 million viewers per broadcast in this year's second quarter -- but early indications are promising. According to numbers from the same quarter, Cooper drew an average 841,000 viewers to his 10 p.m. broadcast, 11,000 less than Nancy Grace at 8 p.m.

Cooper's show will replace Eliot Spitzer's "In The Arena," which was canceled.