If you happened to tune into CNN for the much-hyped and highly anticipated primetime special featuring First Lady Jill Biden earlier this week, then you were no doubt left feeling underwhelmed — as FLOTUS floundered in delivering what the network hyped up to be an inspiring and informative broadcast.
As CNN continues to struggle to attract viewers, its primetime special with first lady Jill Biden tanked on Monday night.
Since Chris Cuomo was fired in late 2021, CNN has been without a permanent host for 9 pm ET. Jake Tapper and others have had difficulty attracting an audience during the critical primetime hour, but the first lady struggled more than anyone else.
With an interview with CNN White House correspondent Arlette Saenz, the “CNN Primetime” special featured “Jill Biden Abroad” that shed 43% of CNN’s average 9 p.m. ET audience, according to Fox News.
During the softball interview, Jill Biden’s tiny audience heard the first lady profess her love for her stepson Hunter Biden.
From there, it got even more embarrassing. Soon after, Saenz inquired how frequently Joe and Jill Biden FaceTime.
The dismal viewing ratings for “Jill Biden Abroad” made for an underwhelming performance for CNN, who have typically seen higher ratings than 368,000 viewers during a weekday.
Comparatively, Fox News’ Hannity and MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Show garnered 2.7 million and 2.3 million respectively, making it clear that despite their attempts to increase viewership with the broadcast of Jill Biden’s European tour, CNN was still able to only draw the average number of viewers they had recorded prior to June 17, excluding holidays such as Christmas Eve, Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
Among Monday’s basic cable offerings to outdraw CNN’s 9 p.m. ET program were TBS’ midday repeats of “Friends,” Investigation Discovery’s “Murder Comes Home,” “Andy Griffith Show” and “Gunsmoke” reruns on TV Land Classic, Hallmark’s decades-old airings of “The Golden Girls” and Lifetime’s “Castle.”
Among adults 25-54, CNN’s “Jill Biden Abroad” averaged only 84,000 viewers, losing 42% of the network’s year-to-date average 9 p.m. audience. The same evening, “Hannity” averaged 322,000 demo viewers and “Maddow” averaged 219,000.
After a news-heavy February, CNN’s demo audience dipped to its smallest since 2012. It was CNN’s worst primetime performance since 2013.
Despite the Biden administration’s best attempts to involve First Lady Jill Biden in a variety of events and promotions, America just can’t seem to relate to her. Asking her to do an interview on CNN primetime was meant to be a surefire way to boost viewership, but even that seemed doomed from the start due to America’s inability to connect with the First Lady. It may be bad news for CNN, but it’s much worse news for the Biden administration. This lack of engagement is an obvious sign that America isn’t sold on the Bidens, and any political strategists will tell you: decreased interest is incredibly worrying in this type of context.
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