Fox News’ ‘Gutfeld!’ Launch Got More Viewers Than Jimmy Fallon in April

But “The Tonight Show” starts 35 minutes later — and even later in other time zones

greg gutfeld jimmy fallon
Fox News; Getty Images

After a month on the air, Fox News’ new late-night program, “Gutfeld!” is doing what it set out to do: It’s killing in late-night ratings.

In a comparison of live and same-day total viewers for all the late-night shows on cable and broadcast, in fact, Greg Gutfeld’s new nightly show was beaten only by Stephen Colbert’s “Late Show” on CBS and “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” on ABC over the past month, according to Nielsen Media Research ratings data. (Note that the programs all start at different times and in many – but not all – cases, they’re not competing directly.)

From April 5 to May 3, Colbert’s 11:35 p.m. ET program averaged 1.991 million total viewers, of whom 402,000 were in the advertiser-coveted age demographic of 25 to 54 and 270,000 were in the other key demo of ages 18 to 49. Kimmel’s show brought in an average of 1.579 million, with 411,000 between 25 and 54 and 287,000 between 18 and 49.

Next came Gutfeld’s 11 p.m. ET offering, pulling in 1.515 million total average viewers. Of those, 305,000 were between 25 and 54 and 181,000 were between 18 and 49. These numbers are notable because fewer American households have cable than the broadcast networks.

Jimmy Fallon’s “Tonight Show” on NBC came next with 1.395 million total average viewers. Fallon did beat Gutfeld — and everybody else — in the 25-to-54 demo, pulling in 416,000 average viewers there. In the 18-to-49 demo, the 11:35 p.m. ET show led by an even bigger margin: Fallon secured 315,000 average viewers in that age range.

Though Gutfeld’s new show was marketed and promoted as a conservative response to the left-leaning programming on broadcast networks, it is still a cable news show and competes more directly with the 11 p.m. ET offerings on CNN and MSNBC.

MSNBC’s “The 11th Hour with Brian Williams” brought in an average of 1.375 million live and same-day viewers from April 5 to May 3. Of those, 210,000 were in the key demo of 25 to 54. Over on CNN, the second hour of Don Lemon’s “CNN Tonight” brought in 690,000 total average viewers, with 215,000 of them in the demo. “Gutfeld!” tops every hour of CNN’s programming in total average viewers, in fact.

“Gutfeld!” is competing with broadcast’s late-night shows, cable news’ 11 p.m. hours and the show that previously held its time slot, “Fox News at Night.” In March, “Fox News at Night” averaged 1.222 million total viewers, with 234,000 of them in the demo. Gutfeld grew the 11 p.m. slot significantly in the month since he took it over from Shannon Bream: From April 5 to April 25, he pulled in 1.521 million total average viewers, for a 24% increase. In the demo, he secured 304,000, which is a 30% increase.

Fallon beat Bream in the first three months of 2021, only to be leapfrogged by Gutfeld when the new show came on the Fox News airwaves.

On a Tuesday earnings call, Fox Corporation executive chairman and CEO Lachlan Murdoch praised Gutfeld’s new show for its first month on the air: “In April, the Fox News Channel debuted the late-night program ‘Gutfeld, exclamation mark.’ The exclamation mark is apropos as, since its launch, the show has averaged over 1.5 million viewers per night, representing a 25 percent increase in the 11 p.m.-midnight ET time period versus the month prior. To put this into context, ‘Gutfeld!’ is drawing an audience that is roughly the same size as ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live!’ and larger than ‘The Tonight Show’ despite FOX News reaching fewer households than the broadcast networks.”


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