CNN’s New Show Starring Charles Barkley Flops With Lowest Primetime Debut Ratings In A Decade: REPORT

(Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images)

Font Size:

CNN’s new show, starring NBA legend Charles Barkley and journalist Gayle King, garnered dismal ratings in its debut, Deadline reported citing Nielsen ratings.

The show, “King Charles,” drew in a measly 501,000 viewers for its debut episode, according to Nielsen ratings cited by Deadline. The show finished in third place among other cable news shows in its time slot, according to The Hollywood Reporter, and earned the distinction of being CNN’s lowest rated premiere in at least a decade, according to The Daily Beast. (RELATED: ‘It Is A Sh*t Show Right Now’: Charles Barkley ‘Considering’ Joining CNN To Help Failing Network)

The 501,000 viewers for “King Charles” paces slightly ahead of CNN’s November average for the 10 p.m. slot. “CNN NewsNight,” hosted by Abby Phillip, drew an average of 474,000 viewers in November, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Phillip’s show brought in 645,000 viewers for its debut in October, per the outlet.

MSNBC’s “Last Word With Lawrence O’Donnell,” which aired at the same time as the “King Charles” premiere, raked in 1.57 million viewers, The Hollywood Reporter noted. Fox News’ “Gutfeld!” typically averages two million in the 10 p.m. time slot.

CNN shook up their primetime programming after the firing of CNN head Chris Licht earlier this year over poor ratings. “King Charles” was one of the last programs Licht greenlit before his ouster from the network. Licht envisioned the show as part of his vision of shifting CNN to a “centrist” and less polarizing news channel, according to The Daily Beast.

Don Lemon and Chris Cuomo, who were both fired by CNN earlier this year, drew in far more substantial audiences in their primetime debuts. Lemon brought in 944,000 total viewers during his 2021 premiere and Cuomo brought in 1.528 million during his 2017 debut, the outlet reported.