What do “Big Rig Bounty Hunters” and “Swamp People” on History Channel have in common? They both pummeled CNN and MSNBC’s brand new shows’ debuts last week in the ratings.
CNN’s attempt to mimic Fox News’ hugely successful “The Five” with a five person panel show called (get to) The Point” seems to have crashed and burned in spectacular fashion. The week-long tryout at 10:00 PM ET, in place of an Anderson Cooper repeat, was dead last in cable news ratings, finishing behind CNNHLN and CNBC.
The Donny Deutsch show that is the brain child of new network chief Jeff Zucker had such a dismal week that their Thursday number barely registered at all in the Nielsens. Only 61,000 viewers in the 25-54 demo tuned in and 249,000 in all. Compare that to 191,000 and 573,000 for HLN After Dark in the same time slot. Yes, more than double the viewers for “(get to) The Point” preferred to just have a person sitting behind a desk reading headlines to CNN’s new offering. Ouch.
Meanwhile, over on MSNBC, Chris Hayes debuted with his new prime time replacement for Ed Schultz, “All In.” And if the first week’s ratings are an indication, the title of this show might end up being punch line in a few months as audiences choose to fold rather than go all in.
Hayes was promoted to the nightly gig to liven up the younger demo that Schultz, apparently, wasn’t bringing. But his first week of pedantic prog-chatter has had the opposite effect. Hayes fell 24 percent in the 25-54 demo compared to the final week of Schultz (and that was a week with guest-hosts.) Which puts him well behind Nancy Grace and ratings behemoth Bill O’Reilly.
All in all, an inauspicious start for two brand new, offerings in cable news as CNN tries to find its way and MSNBC tries to defeat the Fox News juggernaut.