Regardless of what you think about Fox News Network for its shameful 2020 handling of the Presidential election (e.g., unjustified early call for Arizona, Chris Wallace running cover for feeble Joe Biden, etc.), kudos are due to Greg Gutfeld for his amazing ratings at his new daily 11pm show.
Fox was quick to blow it own horn on the matter:
“Gutfeld!” is already making a big splash in the late-night scene, immediately defeating “The Tonight Show” during its debut month.
The new Fox News show hosted by Greg Gutfeld made its premiere on April 5 has already bested the long-running NBC late-night staple hosted by Jimmy Fallon, who took over for Jay Leno back in 2014.
From April 5 to May 3, “Gutfeld!” averaged 1.515 million viewers while “The Tonight Show” averaged only 1.395 million viewers. The Fox News program is already competitive to Stephen Colbert’s “The Late Show” and “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” which scored an average 1.991 million and 1.579 million viewers respectively.
But let us temper our reaction by taking a look backwards to the days when there was no Youtube, Netflix or Google:
The last The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson was seen by 50 million people. Jay Leno’s last The Tonight Show before Conan O’Brien took over in 2009 was seen by 9 million people.
The lowest rated average weekly ratings for the “Jay Leno Show” — NBC’s experiment with Leno at 10 p.m. five nights a week — was 4.8 million viewers. That was in 2010.
In other words, you can take the combined ratings of every single show airing at 11 pm eastern time on NBC, CBS, ABC, MSNBC, CNN and FOX NEWS, and they are still a fraction of Johnny Carson in his heyday. And the CNN, MSNBC and FOX shows combined don’t even capture the audience that Jay Leno snared in his last show.
With that perspective, it is still worth noting that there is an audience and ratings to be had for a conservative comedian. Think of it? Gutfeld eviscerated Jimmy Fallon and nearly tied Jimmy Kimmel. Sweet!