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Greg Gutfeld’s Late-Night Fox Show Destroys Competition

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


Fox News’ late-night host Greg Gutfeld is continuing to ride high at the network.

According to a report in Forbes this week, “Gutfeld! is now the second most-watched late-night show in all of broadcast and cable.”

“For July, it averaged 2 million viewers — and 326,000 in the key demo. That put the Fox show above all of the late-night stalwarts, including NBC’s The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon and ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live!, with CBS’ The Late Show with Stephen Colbert as the only broadcast to beat it,” the report continued.

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Forbes adds:

Said another way: More viewers are watching Gutfeld and his nightly panelists than anything on CNN and MSNBC. Those Gutfeld! panelists, by the way, include Kat Timpf, who’s now the highest-profile woman in late-night comedy, following TBS’ cancellation in recent days of Full Frontal with Samantha Bee.

Gutfeld’s show, moreover, also feels very much like an answer to a question posed by The Atlantic back in 2015, after Stewart had announced he would step down after 16 years helming The Daily Show: “Why,” writer Oliver Morrison wondered at the time, “hasn’t a conservative Daily Show found its own place on Fox?”

In an interview with Forbes, Gutfeld said he’s not looking to be an ideological foe, per se, but rather, he just wants to offer viewers something fun to watch.

“I’m interested in pulling people in who want to have a good time and are open to stuff — but a lot of it is just weird stuff from me,” Gutfeld said.

“I’m not interested in being anybody’s ideological foe,” he continued. “I’m a class clown, who every now and then has a piece of wisdom.”

Gutfeld’s late-night offering has essentially dominated since he debuted.

“He’s up there with the best of them,” Dave Berg, a co-producer for the legendary “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” who went on to write “Behind the Curtain: An Insider’s View of Jay Leno’s Tonight Show,” told Fox News last year.

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The network added in June 2021:

“Gutfeld!” has completely dominated the timeslot competition on both CNN and MSNBC. In fact, the Fox News late-night show attracted more viewers than anything CNN had to offer, at any time, during crucial May Sweeps. 

“Gutfeld is doing jokes no one else is doing, he’s showing that the emperor has no clothes and nobody else is,” Berg said. “He’s hitting areas, I’ll call it jokes, that appeal to conservatives, topics that the others aren’t doing like Critical Race Theory and cancel culture, showing all the flaws of the administration that none of the other late-night hosts are doing.”

Berg went on to note that after Leno and Letterman, the current crop of network late-night offerings featured hosts like Stephen Colbert and Jimmy Kimmel who are so far left they alienate at least half the country.

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“Why would they want to watch Colbert? He’s doing jokes that are basically saying that they’re morons, that they’re fools, they’re racist,” Berg said. “Gutfeld is giving them a reason to come back to the table and watch a late-night show.”

“They’re doing something that the other cable networks — and frankly the other late-night shows – don’t know how to do anymore and that’s to be funny and inject levity,” added Media Research Center analyst Nicholas Fondacaro in a Fox News interview.

“For the last few years, the late-night ‘comedy’ shows have abandoned comedy and turned their programs into platforms for vindictive sniping from the left,” Fondacaro said. “And in the processes, they’ve become home to some of the nastiest people and comments that are harmful to civil discourse.”

As for Fox News more broadly, the network dominated July ratings again.

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The conservative network was the most-watched outlet on cable television, both in total day and in primetime, in July.

“FNC just completed its 18th consecutive month as the most-watched basic cable network in total day, averaging 1.35 million total day viewers in July 2022, per Nielsen live-plus-same-day data. Fox also averaged 194,000 adults 25-54 in total day for July. Compared to the previous month of June, however, Fox News lost -2% in total day viewers and -8% in the total day demo. How about Fox News primetime? The network remains far and away No. 1 in cable news, but shed -3% in total primetime viewers and -8% among the primetime demo vs. June,” Ad Week reported.

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