If CNN was fiction, and a premium cable network, and run by founder Ted Turner’s ex wife, it might be doing just fine.

Instead, CNN just finished its lowest rated second quarter in more than two decades, with a primetime average audience of 446,000 viewers — down 35 percent compared to the second quarter of 2011. 

For comparison sake, MSNBC averaged just shy of 690,000 viewers — a 13 percent decline. Fox News Channel averaged a healthy 1.79 million viewers, though even that’s down 1 percent, year to year.

 Among the 25-54 year old viewers who are the currency of news programming, CNN in primetime plunged 41 percent in the second quarter, compared to same quarter last year.

MSNBC dropped a much smaller17 percent, and FNC 14 percent.

Notice the across the board primetime declines, in an election cycle.

Anyway, over in make believe, Aaron Sorkin’s “The Newsroom,” about a fictitious cable news program, telecast on the Atlantis Cable Network, whose CEO is Jane Fonda, got off to a healthy start; nearly 3 million tuned in to watch its premiere, and immediate replay, on HBO Sunday night.