Since the launch of his late-night show on the Fox News Channel (FNC), Greg Gutfeld has been proving that there is a significant audience that isn’t interested in the unfunny leftist pablum offered by the Big Three networks.
Gutfeld has been steadily moving up in the late-night ratings. Now he sits atop them.
Fox News Channel host Greg Gutfeld had his highest-rated week ever last week, with his late night show Gutfeld! sweeping all of the broadcast late-night hosts, CBS’ Stephen Colbert, NBC’s Jimmy Fallon and ABC’s Jimmel Kimmel. For the week ending August 12, Gutfeld! delivered an average total audience of 2.355 million viewers, outpacing The Late Show with Stephen Colbert (2.143 million viewers), The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon (1.318 million viewers), and Jimmy Kimmel Live! (1.084 million viewers).
More importantly, as Forbes notes, Gutfeld’s show was first in the key advertising demographic. The liberal media knock on FNC’s cable ratings dominance used to be that only old people were watching.
Another liberal media myth is destroyed.
This is no overnight success story. Gutfeld has been bringing humor to FNC audiences since he began hosting Red Eye in 2007. The show was a free-for-all that I had the pleasure of appearing on numerous times. FNC treated it like the weird cousin it didn’t want the neighbors to meet. The network wisely recognized that Greg Gutfeld was a valuable commodity, however, and transitioned him to shows where he could be seen by a larger audience.
What’s most impressive about the numbers for Gutfeld! is the huge disparity in overall audience numbers between the Big Three networks and cable news. For example, the two dominant FNC shows — Tucker Carlson Tonight and The Five — each average a little over three million viewers per night, while ABC World News Tonight brings in over seven million. If this were a football game Gutfeld would be spotting the opposing team two touchdowns to begin the game and still taking the lead before halftime.
American conservatives have long marveled at the fact that so many in the entertainment industry seek to offend half of their potential audience. Two of Gutfeld’s three main competitors — Stephen Colbert and Jimmy Kimmel — long ago abandoned being entertaining in favor of being lickspittles in service of the Democratic National Committee. The third — Jimmy Fallon — tried for years to remain neutral but occasionally gets bullied into being a good liberal lapdog.
As the entertainment landscape evolves, perhaps more “mainstream” producers will decide that the entire should be entertained.