After nearly twenty years with Fox News, Chris Wallace left to sign with its competitor, CNN, in 2021. Following months of turbulence at the network, Who’s Talking to Chris Wallace debuted on Sunday night to a much smaller audience than anticipated.
According to Nielsen Media Research, Wallace’s show only brought in 401,000 viewers, which is 29 percent less than the 2022 average for the 7 pm EST timeslot.
Looking at key demographics paints an even bleaker picture. Just 44,000 viewers from the all-important 25-54 age group tuned in to watch Wallace’s debut episode. That’s just 36 percent of the 2022 average.
As CNN points out, the show is available on HBO Max three days before it appears on regularly scheduled television and includes only “the best of the interviews” with his celebrity guests.
In a statement to the New York Post, a source from CNN suggested this fact was behind the less than desirable viewership numbers.
“Live domestic TV viewers represent only a fraction of its intended audience,” the source explained, adding that the show “doesn’t follow a typical linear distribution model so its success won’t be determined like one.”
As the Post reports, Wallace was bested by his former employer, whose Sunday night program received 1.3 million viewers.
Chris Wallace was perhaps one of Fox News’ most recognizable personalities, hosting the network’s premier weekend program for nearly twenty years.
His switch to CNN was made under then-CEO Jeff Zucker, and there were promises of a top spot on the network’s streaming service, however after Chris Licht became boss and CNN+ tanked, Wallace was relegated to the Sunday night slot.
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