“Major failure”: Bill Maher suffers low ratings as ‘Overtime’ flops on CNN

Bill Maher (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
Bill Maher (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images) /

CNN may have to try a little harder if they hope to rival Greg Gutfeld in what appears to be a newly formed late-night genre.

For many years, late-night television never really had much of a political focus. Old faces such as Johnny Carson and Craig Ferguson were hesitant to delve too deep into the activities of Washington DC.

Nowadays, late night is full to the brim with political opinion. Millions of Americans now tune into Colbert, Fallon and Meyers to hear the day’s news.

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After Fox News decided to challenge what they described as a liberal bias in the late-night genre, they hired longtime anchor, Greg Gutfeld to host his own show.

Since then, Gutfeld! has been a remarkable success across all demographics. Gutfeld now consistently challenges Stephen Colbert for the top spot on the rating charts. Despite its low budget, the programme has booked big names such as Piers Morgan and Russell Brand to appear.

CNN want in on the fun

Earlier this year, we heard rumours that CNN was looking into the possibility of having a piece of the late-night pie.

Soon after, it was announced that Bill Maher’s Overtime segment would air on the news network.

By the second airing, Maher’s ratings have dropped to a mere 345,000 viewers. That’s just as many as Gutfeld in the 25-54 demo alone. In short, it’s hardly been much of a success.

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Former President Trump was quick to mock the popular HBO host after hearing the news. He wrote via Truth Social this month: “Bill Maher dropping big. Ratings way down in second week, substantially lower than his abysmal start. This experiment has already turned out to be a major failure, but in all fairness to Maher, CNN could kill anyone’s career.”

Despite Trump’s criticism, Maher is still making headlines with his ‘Overtime’ segment. Just last week, Real Time went viral after social commentator, Russell Brand made an appearance. The British comedian went on a gripping rant, challenging panellist, John Heilemann on media bias.

Speaking on the issue of journalistic credibility, Brand argued that Heilemann should be more open about the biases held by MSNBC instead of solely attacking Fox.

“Do you want an example? The ludicrous, outrageous criticisms of Joe Rogan around Ivermectin deliberately referring to it as a horse medicine when they know it’s an effective medicine,” the Brit exclaimed.

If CNN really wants a shot at late night, they’ll have to try a little harder.