Maybe CNN president Jeff Zucker is right when he says that more reality based programming is what the network needs to bust out of their ratings doldrums.
That surely seems like the case based on last week’s ratings, when business channel CNBC ran a rerun of ABC’s reality show Shark Tank, and easily beat Piers Morgan.
CNBC, which normally finishes a distant fifth in the weeknight ratings, jumped to third place last Tuesday with Shark Tank, which beat Piers Morgan show by a wide margin.
Shark Tank averaged 605,000 total viewers, and 341,000 in the key A25-54 demo, compared to Morgan’s 491,000 and 175,000 respectively.
Zucker, who on Monday said that breaking news isn’t a long-term game, and who is now enamored with reality-based programming, might speed up his plans to go in that direction if Shark Tank starts to consistently beat his evening programming. Based on the early indications, and CNN’s weak primetime lineup, that may well happen.
It’s one thing to lose to the original programming on Fox news and MSNBC, and even occasionally to HLN, but to have your live program lose to Shark Tank reruns only underscores the problems the network faces.
Based on his current ratings, Morgan might as well pack his bags and prepare to return to Great Britain, because there is no logical reason for CNN to renew his contract.