It looks like CNN’s gamble with Chris Cuomo in primetime is turning out to be a bad move.
The new 9 p.m. show, “Cuomo Prime Time,” was left in the dust of its arch-rival MSNBC and hard-to beat Fox News Channel in its launch week, according to The Daily Caller.
The network moved Cuomo from his CNN morning show, “New Day,” to primetime, putting him up against Fox News’ “Hannity” and MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show” which both dominate the time slot. But the first week of “Cuomo Prime Time” actually saw CNN’s viewership down 9 percent from the same time slot programming for this week last year.
The new show, which features one-on-one interviews with high-profile guests, failed to live up to CNN’s hype despite appearances in its inaugural week by White House press secretary Sarah Sanders, Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, and former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci.
Cuomo averaged 1.1 million viewers in his first week, compared to Maddow’s 2.6 million and Hannity with almost 3.2 million, according to Nielsen Media Research. Even more embarrassing, in the coveted 25-54 age range Cuomo averaged only 377,000 viewers compared to Maddow’s 519,000 viewers, according to Nielsen.
CNN shook up its primetime lineup by cutting back on Anderson Cooper’s “AC 360” show to make room for “Cuomo Prime Time” at 9 p.m. Reports that the show was supposed to be nonpartisan were laughed at as Cuomo and CNN boss Jeff Zucker claimed the straight-news programming would fit in between rivals on MSNBC and Fox News, according t Fox News.
“The independent thinker, the open-minded person doesn’t have anywhere to go. So we are building a home for them,” Cuomo had told The Associated Press.
But the anti-Trump, combative interviews by Cuomo seem to have backfired on the network. The show’s premiere pulled in nearly 1.4 million viewers but Friday’s broadcast saw just over 1 million while total viewers have dropped by 23 percent and 26 percent in the 25-54 age demographic since the launch.
Meanwhile, at this time last year, “Anderson Cooper 360” averaged nearly 1.3 million viewers while Cuomo averaged 1.1 million, a decrease of 9 percent from 2017. The 25-54 age range was down 14 percent compared to last year.
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