OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Fox News host Greg Gutfeld has made cable network history.
His late-night show, “Gutfeld!”, has just become the first late-night cable offering to win the ratings wars for an entire month, Mediaite reported Tuesday, beating all network programs on ABC, NBC, and CBS.
“Roughly 18 months into its run in the 11 p.m. ET hour on Fox News, the Greg Gutfeld-helmed talk show topped every program among its broadcast competition,” the outlet reported.
“Gutfeld! averaged 2.19 million viewers for the month, edging out The Late Show with Stephen Colbert on CBS for the top spot. The Late Show finished a close second with an average of 2.15 viewers,” the report continued.
“Stephen Colbert had been on top of The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon on NBC and Jimmy Kimmel Live! on ABC since January 2017,” the report added.
Fox News released a statement regarding Gutfeld and his history-making late-night gabfest:
FNC’s Gutfeld! made television history, becoming the first late-night cable program to finish the month as the most-watched late-night show in all of broadcast and cable, outpacing CBS’ The Late Show with Stephen Colbert for the month of August. This is the first time Colbert has been unseated as late-night’s highest-rated host for a full month in more than five years (January 2017).
Fox News, Mediaite continued, finished August as the third-most-watched network behind CBS and NBC, but ahead of ABC.
According to a report in Forbes earlier this month, “Gutfeld! became 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.
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.
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.