CNBC loves McEnroe despite wobbly week

Tennis pro's show no ace in early going

John McEnroe’s new primetime show on CNBC saw some double-faults in the ratings during its first week on the air, but net execs say they remain confident in the tennis champ’s new TV swing.

According to Nielsen Media Research, “McEnroe” averaged 146,000 total viewers during his first five nights on the air. That put him in last place in terms of the cable news shows airing at 10 p.m. ET.

New program, with a look similar to latenight shows, commanded 266,000 viewers on July 7, which was its launch date, but dropped sharply to 105,000 viewers the next evening.

“McEnroe” then dropped to 64,000 viewers on July 12, which is considered a scratch by Nielsen.

For the week, McEnroe averaged 72,000 adults 18-49 and 75,000 adults 25-54.

“I’m not paying much attention to the ratings at this point. I actually feel really good about the show and John’s performance. He’s a magnet,” said CNBC senior VP of primetime programming Bob Meyers. “It’s somebody we have a lot of confidence in.”

“McEnroe” follows Dennis Miller’s frosh 9 p.m. ET talkshow, which bowed in late January. Both programs are part of an attempt to spice up CNBC’s primetime lineup with more entertainment fare.

Miller averaged 485,000 viewers his first week on the air. During McEnroe’s first week on the air, Miller averaged 186,000 viewers.

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