MSNBC’s much publicized move to give Ronan Farrow his own show this year has apparently flopped, according to a report in The New York Daily News:
Farrow, 28 — the opinionated, blue-eyed son of actress Mia Farrow and either Woody Allen or Frank Sinatra (even Farrow’s not sure which) — has been a disaster for MSNBC. The channel took the frequent cable-show guest and handed him his own program, “Ronan Farrow Daily,” which premiered in late February.
MSNBC was hoping Farrow could parlay his 245,000 Twitter followers into a loyal audience on television and build from there. But that hasn’t happened since, as one source told the Daily News, “Just because someone is a boy genius-turned-Twitter star doesn’t mean they deserve their own TV show.”
If MSNBC president Phil Griffin actually believed that Twitter followers represented the minimum potential television audience, then he’s even more clueless than I thought, considering that Farrow rarely tweets or engages with his followers.
Farrow’s problems, though, are of his own making. As an MSNBC source said, “He sort of stinks on TV.” The source said that he looks uncomfortable before a camera and often stumbles over his words. That’s not what MSNBC was expecting, but they obviously were so enamored with the so-called “boy wonder” that they neglected to fully test him to see if he could handle his own show.
This lack of preparation by MSNBC is showing up in the ratings. Last Wednesday he managed to attract a total audience of just 312,000 viewers, and he is failing to click with the young demo that is crucial to attracting advertisers.
Overall, the show was 708th among all programming ranked by Nielsen, in both total viewers and the 18-to-49 age group advertisers covet. His ratings trailed a midnight airing of “Baggage” on the Game Show Network, and were below those of the 8 a.m. “Golden Girls” on the Hallmark Channel, which came in at number 700.
A rep for MSNBC issued a statement saying that they were “happy” with the show, and that they would continue to support Farrow and his team as they “develop and grow the program.”
The only problem is that Farrow is neither developing nor growing the program, and he needs to be shown the door if MSNBC wants to salvage what’s left of its daytime schedule.