CNN Finally Puts ‘King Charles’ Primetime Show Out of Its Misery

April 15th, 2024 1:33 PM

After six months, CNN finally took their poorly-rated primetime show King Charles out back and put it out of its misery. Airing just one night a week on Wednesdays, King Charles was one of the last vestiges of the Chris Licht era of CNN leadership, which purportedly tried to achieve a more fair and balanced approach to reporting the news before an internal revolt of the network’s radical liberals quashed it.

Since you’ve likely never heard of the show since its ratings were so poor, no, the show was not hosted by the king of England, but rather CBS Mornings co-host Gayle King and NBA on TNT personality Charles Barkley.

CNN thought they were being clever by splicing their names together.

Since the November premiere, the show has been a ratings disaster. “The long-hyped premiere of the new weekly primetime series, which aired Wednesday at 10 pm, drew just 501,000 viewers, according to same-day Nielsen ratings,” reported the New York Post. “It finished a distant third among the biggest cable news channels in total viewers, ranking as the smallest of any of CNN’s primetime debuts this year.”

The Post also reported that in the months to follow, their numbers continued to fall off: “Since its debut in late November, viewership has dropped 20% for ‘King Charles’ … But the Jan. 31 broadcast, the most recent airing as the program was off this past week, brought in just 400,000 total viewers and 89,000 in the 25-54 demographic, Nielsen figures show.”

King and Charles were “even losing out to reruns of old ‘Friends’ and ‘South Park’ episodes.”

A problem with CNN’s apparent plan to buy primetime market share by bringing in big names to draw in viewers was that big names come with packed schedules. As The Post noted, Barkley’s hindered how often they could put out episodes since he’d have to fly to New York to do the show every Wednesday between his obligations for TNT’s Inside the NBA:

An industry source told The Post that the show was limited by Barkley’s schedule.

The NBA Hall of Famer could only do the show on Wednesdays due to his other commitments — namely his role as a co-host of the popular “Inside the NBA” on CNN’s sister station TNT, according to a source close to the network.

Barkley had mentioned that his crowded schedule made it more difficult for the show to attract a loyal following.

Another possible factor in the show’s cancelation could have been that Barkley’s political ideology didn’t adhere to liberal dogma as staunchly as most CNN hosts.

In late February, on the show, Barkley told then-Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley: “Governor, I’m dying to vote for you. I want to give all my energy and all my heart behind your campaign.” His hang-up was her comments about America never being a racist country.

King, on the other hand, has a history of ultra-liberal punditry and has donated to the Obama campaign and vacationed with them as though she was part of the family.