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CNN Ends Its Primetime Charles Barkley Experiment After 6 Months

by News7

King Charles, the weekly primetime show co-hosted by NBA legend Charles Barkley and CBS morning anchor Gayle King, has finished its limited series run at six months.

The brainchild of deposed CNN chief Chris Licht, the Wednesday night chatfest failed to gain any traction with viewers and was one of the least-watched primetime weeknight shows in cable news. The program’s premiere last November was actually the lowest-rated primetime weeknight series debut for the network in at least a decade, according to Nielsen.

Airing at 10 p.m. ET on Wednesday nights, King Charles hoped to build on the rapport between Barkley and King. Besides having them comment on current events and general news, the show also featured viewer call-ins and sit-down interviews with celebrities and politicians.

However, after debuting to just 501,000 total viewers and 139,000 in the key advertising demographic of adults aged 25-54, King Charles only passed the half-million viewer threshold once more over the next few months. The demo audience also began to tumble, dropping below 100,000 on a few occasions beginning in late January. According to Nielsen, the 14 broadcasts of King Charles averaged 459,000 viewers overall and 106,000 in the 25-54 demographic.

In a head-to-head comparison at 10 p.m., Fox News’ Gutfeld! attracted a total audience of 2.2 million total viewers and 320,000 in the key demo while MSNBC’s The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell nabbed an overall audience of 1.5 million viewers and 142,000 in the 25-54 demo.

King and Barkley signed off last Wednesday’s broadcast by telling viewers that the show had reached the end of its limited run, saying that “time flew by” over the past six months. They also thanked the production and writing staff for all the hard work they’d provided throughout the series.

At the same time, King left the door open to collaborating with Barkley again in the near future. “I have loved working with you. And something tells me, Charles, this will not…be the last time we’re working together,” she noted.

While the ratings never popped for King Charles, it was always pegged to have a limited series run. When CNN first announced the show and then set its debut for November, the channel said at the time it would air through early spring.

Additionally, with the NBA playoffs starting this week, Barkley’s role as a co-host for Inside the NBA on CNN’s sister station TNT would have made his already hectic schedule even more complex, making the Wednesday night commitment more challenging to keep.

Besides noting that King Charles was always scheduled to end this month, a CNN spokesperson lauded the show as a “great addition to CNN’s lineup,” saying it brought “the youngest, most affluent, and most diverse P2+ audience in its cable news time period.”

According to Nielsen data shared by CNN, 44 percent of the show’s audience is non-white, which is the most diverse audience of the network’s regular programming. In comparison, seven percent of Fox’s and 27 percent of MSNBC’s 10 p.m. viewership is non-white. Furthermore, 35 percent of King Charles’ viewers have a household income over $125,000,

Source : The Daily Beast

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