CNN’s New Primetime Lineup Rises Tuesday After Soft Start

"Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown" CNN

UPDATE: Things looked better on night two for CNN’s “Parts Unknown,” which averaged 175,000 adults 25-54 — a nearly 50% jump from Monday and a nice build on its “AC360” lead-in (126,000), according to Nielsen estimates.

The Anthony Bourdain show, whose Tuesday episode has previously aired on a Sunday, finished second in the demo among news networks for its 9 p.m. hour — behind Fox News Channel’s “The Kelly File” (238,000) but 21% higher than MSNBC’s “Rachel Maddow” (145,000).

With “AC360” and “Parts Unknown” rising, CNN finished ahead of MSNBC for the night (133,000 to 125,000). The 10 p.m. show “CNN Tonight” (98,000 adults 25-54) was down 7% from Monday.



It’s only one day, but CNN’s reconfigured primetime lineup is off to a soft ratings start, as Anthony Bourdain’s “Parts Unknown” on Monday finished well behind programming on competitors Fox News and MSNBC.

CNN canceled former 9 p.m. series “Piers Morgan Live” earlier this year due to low ratings. The net is now turning the 9 p.m. hour over to original series, films and in-house produced documentaries. (The lineup doesn’t officially launch until May 29, with “The 60s,” but encores of “Parts Unknown” are airing in the meantime.)

According to Nielsen estimates, “Parts Unknown” averaged 119,000 adults 25-54 and 281,000 viewers overall in the 9 o’clock hour. Fox News Channel’s “The Kelly File” dominated (259,000 adults 25-54, 1.79 million viewers overall), and MSNBC’s “Rachel Maddow” placed second (156,000 adults 25-54; 720,000 total viewers).

At 10 p.m., the new “CNN Tonight,” which rounds up the top stories of the day and is hosted by Don Lemon, averaged 105,000 adults 25-54 and 304,000 total viewers. It also finished well behind the competition.

For the night, which now includes Anderson Cooper’s “AC360” at 8 p.m., CNN averaged 112,000 adults 25-54 and 287,000 total viewers — down 18% and 30% respectively from the net’s prior primetime May average. FNC and MSNBC, on the other hand, both were up a bit from their prior May averages.




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  1. jnsesq says:

    Can’t wait for Shrillary’s primetime “My Life as a Grandma” series! As I read yesterday, you clowns don’t deserve ALL CAPS — except among your fellow Marxists for all the “good work” you do for them.

  2. Dave-0 says:

    More soft-pedal ‘news-lite’ at CNN. This is change?

  3. DownsizeDC says:

    CNN should make half of its programs conservative, half liberal, and appoint James O’Keefe as the conservative program director. I’m sure there are some good liberal journalists out there who could do the job as liberal program director. (Kirsten Powers, maybe?) CNN needs to get back to news and drop the unbiased charade. No one in this world is unbiased and nor should they be. Bias is what should get a journalist up in the morning.

  4. LuJr75 says:

    CNN Zucks!

  5. Andy D says:

    CNN has definitely lost its mojo. Does anyone really care what Don Sterling has to say? Since when is basketball world news? Scratch that…since when are the pathetic machinations of a dirty old man headline news? Ewww…gross. The only thing more disgusting than Don is that um…girlfriend…of his. There are real stories in this troubled world that matter. shame on CNN.

  6. CNN, Fox, and MSNBC not only compete with each other but also compete for time and eyeballs with social media and news and opinion web sites. They even compete with their own web sites. But the broadcast cable producers still have the mind set of a time way back when in the days they dominated non-broadcast news.

  7. Mark Ramage says:

    Why are you comparing a repeat of Parts Unknown on Monday rather than using the original air time of Sunday at 9pm?

  8. SFSolstice says:

    OMG! Trashing CNN based on one day the first day of ratings? WTF dude – slow news day or just hoping CNN will fail?

    • lgvenable says:

      I think they managed to bring this on themselves, I mean I recently had to sit through an hour where they talked about MH377 and Donald Sterling, both of which are old news. They’ve basically augered in on news coverage, as they are wedge breaking for BHO.

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