After having been cancelled when CNN+ went under, Who’s Talking to Chris Wallace? debuted Sunday night on the regular CNN and, much like CNN+’s failed existence, it tanked with a scant 425,000 viewers at 7:00 p.m. Eastern and more than a third behind the total put up by the Fox News Channel (FNC).
Things were even worse in the key 25-54 demo as it sank to 44,000. Over on FNC, former Congressman Trey Gowdy (R-SC) had a far more successful time with his show Sunday Night in America with 1.31 million total viewers and 83,000 in the demo, according to Nielsen Media Research.
In fact, Gowdy provided our friend, conservative talk radio legend, and MRC Bulldog Award winner Mark Levin with a giant lead-in that the latter rode to the highest cable rating of the day with roughly 1.67 million viewers (and 133,000 in the demo).
Things got even worse for Wallace when looking at CNN’s ratings on either side of him. The 6:00 p.m. Eastern edition of CNN Newsroom with Pamela Brown with fill-in Alexander Marquardt drew 457,000 viewers and 70,000 in the demo.
At the other end, a CNN documentary on the Havana Syndrome followed Wallace with 549,000 viewers (and 79,000 in the demo).
In his debut episode, Wallace spoke with retired Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, actor Tyler Perry, and country singer Shania Twain as part of his pledge for the show “to explore some of my other interests” alongside politics, and would thus foster “smart, thoughtful conversations with a wide range of people from news makers to athletes, CEO’s to comedians, musicians to movie stars, and everyone in between.”
Based on the first episode, viewers must not have found them “smart” and “thoughtful conversations” worth tuning in for between NFL games.