CNN's Jill Biden Special Completely Flops as Viewers Tune Out in Droves: Report


Things just haven’t been the same for CNN since the network fired Chris Cuomo 18 months ago.

The lack of a permanent primetime host in the 9 p.m. hour has contributed to the network’s challenges, according to a report from (admittedly not completely unbiased rival) Fox News.

And, while you might think that the left-leaning viewers of what Rush Limbaugh used to be fond of calling the Clinton News Network would flock to see the current first lady showcased on a “CNN Primetime” special entitled “Jill Biden Abroad,” after the results were in, you’d be forced to think again.

“‘Jill Biden Abroad’ averaged a dismal 368,000 total viewers compared to 2.7 million for Fox News’ ‘Hannity’ and 2.3 million for MSNBC’s ‘The Rachel Maddow Show,’ which both aired in the same time slot,” Fox media reporter Brian Flood wrote Wednesday.

The special aired Monday night.

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“It was CNN’s worst weekday performance at 9 p.m. since June 17, 2022, with the exception of Christmas Eve, Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Martin Luther King Jr. Day,” he noted.

Rather than acting as a ratings draw, as I’m sure CNN must have hoped, Biden managed to push nearly half of CNN’s typical audience away.

As the great Hollywood film producer Samuel Goldwyn once said, “They stayed away in droves.”

The special “featured an interview with CNN White House correspondent Arlette Saenz that shed a staggering 43% of viewers of CNN’s average 2023 9 p.m. ET viewership,” Flood reported.

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Pouring just a hint of salt into the wounds of a rival, Flood noted a number of reruns that fared better than the first lady’s interview, including episodes of “Friends,” “Gunsmoke,” “The Golden Girls” and “Castle.”

All of this came after a terrible February for the network, another month in which Fox News dominated the cable news market. In fact, in February embattled CNN experienced lows it has not seen since the Obama administration — and beyond.

According to Nielsen data, Fox News beat out its competitors not only in total viewers but with those aged 25-54, the demographic most sought by advertisers.

During the second month of 2023, 94 of the top 100 cable news broadcasts aired on Fox News, as did 13 of the top 15.

The success also translated to the world of late-night, where “Gutfeld!” beat out CBS’ “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” in the key demo.

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Overall, Fox News primetime shows were number one in both total viewers and in the demo.

“The Five” took the top spot as the most-watched show with 3.3 million viewers.

“Tucker Carlson Tonight, “Jesse Watters Primetime,” “Hannity” and “Special Report with Bret Baier” rounded out the top five.

In the main demo, Carlson won the month. He was followed by “The Five,” “Hannity,” Gutfeld!” and Watters, respectively.

The morning show “Fox & Friends” had more viewers than “Morning Joe” on MSNBC and “CNN This Morning.” Both programs were also trounced in the coveted demo.

CNN struggled historically across the board during the month, with one program — “Inside Politics” with host John King — sing its lowest viewership since 2005.

Meanwhile, “Anderson Cooper 360,” “The Lead with Jake Tapper” and “The Situation Room” with Wolf Blitzer were each positioned to experience their worst months in the demo since the summer of 2014.

Embattled “CNN This Morning,” which co-hosted by Don Lemon, saw its lowest-rated month since it launched last year. The program attracted an average of 360,000 total viewers and only 73,000 in the key demo.

March doesn’t seem to be looking any better for CNN, and first lady Jill Biden didn’t help any.

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George Upper is the former Editor-in-Chief of The Western Journal and was a weekly co-host of "WJ Live," powered by The Western Journal. He is currently a contributing editor in the areas of faith, politics and culture. A former U.S. Army special operator, teacher and consultant, he is a lifetime member of the NRA and an active volunteer leader in his church. Born in Foxborough, Massachusetts, he has lived most of his life in central North Carolina.
George Upper, is the former editor-in-chief of The Western Journal and is now a contributing editor in the areas of faith, politics and culture. He currently serves as the connections pastor at Awestruck Church in Greensboro, North Carolina. He is a former U.S. Army special operator, teacher, manager and consultant. Born in Massachusetts, he graduated from Foxborough High School before joining the Army and spending most of the next three years at Fort Bragg. He holds bachelor's and master's degrees in English as well as a Master's in Business Administration, all from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He and his wife life only a short drive from his three children, their spouses and his grandchildren. He is a lifetime member of the NRA and in his spare time he shoots, reads a lot of Lawrence Block and John D. MacDonald, and watches Bruce Campbell movies. He is a fan of individual freedom, Tommy Bahama, fine-point G-2 pens and the Oxford comma.
Foxborough, Massachusetts
Beta Gamma Sigma
B.A., English, UNCG; M.A., English, UNCG; MBA, UNCG
North Carolina
Languages Spoken
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Business, Leadership and Management, Military, Politics