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Former Fox News anchor Chris Wallace has not had much success in terms of attracting an audience after he left the network and moved to CNN in the wake of the 2020 elections, but executives there continue to give him opportunities.
According to Mediaite, the network is moving Wallace from his Sunday slot to a new one during prime time on Fridays.
The network announced that the HBO Max and CNN series “Who’s Talking to Chris Wallace” would continue to release new episodes for streaming on Friday mornings. However, the CNN “Best of” segment of the show would be moving to Friday nights at 10 PM, according to reports.
“CNN announced today that Who’s Talking to Chris Wallace? will return for its third season on HBO Max and CNN on Friday, April 28. The best of the full HBO Max interviews will continue to air on CNN, beginning April 28 at 10pm ET/PT,” the network noted in a press release sent to Mediaite.
The show is known for its comprehensive and eclectic format, featuring full-length interviews with a diverse range of guests from the worlds of popular culture, politics, and current events. In addition to its in-depth coverage, the show also incorporates biographical elements and often includes Wallace singing in segments.
The network says programs featuring newsmakers and celebrities will be released in the coming weeks:
As the 2024 election cycle approaches, Wallace will interview key policymakers and presidential hopefuls, leaning into his more than 50 years of political expertise and tackling the topics and issues facing the country. Highly anticipated guests for the upcoming third season also include Carol Burnett, Bill Hader, Jay Leno, Andy Garcia, Miranda Lambert, and many more that will be announced in the weeks ahead. Who’s Talking to Chris Wallace? will be available on the new enhanced streaming service, Max, when it launches in the U.S. on Tuesday, May 23.
“We’re thrilled that the CNN audience will now get to see these newsmaking interviews the same day that they are available on HBO Max,” a spokesperson for the show told Mediaite.
The outlet claimed that Wallace’s show “performed well on Sundays,” but that’s relative; the network, overall, has tanked in ratings and is a distant third behind cable news powerhouse Fox News.
And his show scored its lowest during the month of January in terms of overall viewers, with the final week of the month being the worst since the program launched in the spring of 2022.
For the entire month of January, “Wallace’s show averaged only 365,000 viewers. Even worse, in advertisers’ coveted 25-54 demographic, his struggling program pulled in a putrid average of just 48,000 viewers,” the Western Journal reported.
Wallace’s show was initially scheduled for CNN+, the network’s planned subscription streaming service that flopped about a month after it was launched at the cost of some $300 million.
The Washington Examiner noted as well that on one Sunday, Wallace’s program only managed to pull in around 323,000 viewers and 38,000 in the 25-54 demo.
The Western Journal added at the time:
Wallace can’t win for losing these days, it seems. It’s not that people aren’t tuning into Sunday news programs, either. Take a gander at former Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy’s Sunday Fox News show for proof. “Sunday Night in America with Trey Gowdy” managed to garner over 1 million viewers on average in January, according to US TVDB. Gowdy also roughly doubled the number of 25-54 demographic viewers that Wallace pulled in.
CNN continued to struggle mightily, with few of its shows really gaining much traction, including the recently revamped morning show.
“CNN just notched its lowest ratings in nine years across all its day parts for the week of Jan. 16 through Jan. 22, 2023, according to Nielsen, averaging just 444,000 viewers in primetime, 93,000 in the all-important age 25-54 news demographic and 417,000 in viewers and 80,000 in the demo for total day,” The Wrap reported that month. “It’s the first time since May 2014 that the network failed to reach 450,000 viewers.”
“By comparison, during the same period Fox News drew 1.4 million viewers and 176,000 in the demo while MSNBC notched 629,000 total viewers and 69,000 in the demo. In primetime, Fox News had 2 million viewers, 256,000 in the demo and MSNBC had 943,000 viewers and 91,000 in the demo,” the report continued, adding that the new morning show featuring co-stars Don Lemon, Poppy Harlow, and Kaitlin Collins is also tanking.