“Caylee’s death has gone un-avenged!” HLN star Nancy Grace shrieked in disbelief, as the verdict was read in the Casey Anthony murder trial.
“Tot Mom will be walking free!” Grace grieved Tuesday afternoon as the Florida jury acquitted Anthony of murder, aggravated child abuse, and aggravated manslaughter in the suspicious death of her little 2-year-old daughter -- though they did draw the line at Casey having provided false info to the cops.
Five million people watched Grace as the verdict was read around 2:15 p.m. that day -- HLN’s best ratings performance in any hour in its history, according to Nielsen numbers issued Wednesday afternoon. “The Devil is dancing tonight,” Grace continued, hours after the verdict, on her primetime show. About 3 million people caught that performance — “Nancy Grace” show’s biggest audience ever.
Other news outlets may have been equally stunned by the verdict – ABC News on Wednesday called it a “jaw dropping not guilty verdict” as it plugged its upcoming interview with one of the jurors, Jennifer Ford, who said she and the other jurors cried and were "sick to our stomachs" after voting to acquit Casey Anthony of charges she killed Caylee, but could not convict because “there was not enough evidence.”
But, this grisly murder trial has been the making of Grace -- June had been her highest rated month ever, with her primetime show averaging 1.5 million viewers. And, on Tuesday, she emerged from the rubble having been crowned, by Web site Gawker and others, The New Queen of Grief Porn.
In the end, Grace was best at serving up to viewers what they wanted to hear. According to NM Incite—a Nielsen/McKinsey joint venture that provides social media intelligence—64 percent of people on Twitter disagree with the verdict, but only 1 percent agreed. The other 35 percent are “neutral”.
“In the end, Tot Mom’s lies seemed to have work,” a bereaved Grace lashed out Tuesday after the verdict was revealed.
“Caylee, her 2-year-old little girl, found just 15 houses from where Tot Mom puts her head on the pillow every night; her body decomposed -- nothing but a skeleton gnawed on by animals, disarranged there in a trash dump that used to serve as a pet cemetery. Little Caylee -- thrown away like she was trash.
“And now, for the rest of our coverage, Caylee will be in our hearts, regardless of what this jury or anyone else does or says.”
Here’s Casey Anthony being re-tried on HLN network in The Court of Nancy Grace on Tuesday: