Bow to the Chef: CNN's Anthony Bourdain Show Debuts Big

April 16th, 2013 7:03 AM

Washington Post TV reporter Lisa de Moraes joked in Tuesday's paper: “CNN may have figured its way out of its ratings problem. Dump news.”

The debut of celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain’s show “Parts Unknown”attracted 747,000 viewers at 9 p.m. Sunday — “282,000 of them aged 25-to-54 years, the age group that’s the currency of news programming ad sales.”

In that key demographic, Bourdain finished 106 percent ahead of cable news rival Fox News Channel and 65 percent ahead of MSNBC in the Sunday night slot. CNN noted that its new Bourdain show clocked 32 percent more viewers than did last April’s premiere of Bourdain’s Travel Channel series “No Reservations” (567,000 viewers).

CNN announced last May it had ordered the new Bourdain series, with a mandate that would please old CNN boss Ted Turner, the man who tried to ban the word “foreign” from his network. It looks at “cultures worldwide through their culinary and travel rituals.” The first episode explored the remote Asian country of Myanmar (formerly known as Burma).