Former Fox News host Chris Wallace suffered embarrassingly low ratings for the debut of his new CNN show.
"Who's Talking to Chris Wallace" premiered Sunday with 401,000 viewers, down 29% from the average for the 7 p.m. ET hour, according to Nielsen Media Research.
Not only that, 44,000 viewers aged 25 to 54 meant a 64% decrease from the average.
Wallace, former host of "Fox News Sunday," now conducts a celebrity interview talk show. His first guests included filmmaker/actor Tyler Perry, singer Shania Twain, and former Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer.
The New York Post reported that a CNN source defended Wallace, noting that the show is available to viewers on the streaming platform HBO Max three days before it airs on CNN.
"[The show] doesn't follow a typical linear distribution model so its success won't be determined like one," the source told the Post. "Live domestic TV viewers represent only a fraction of its intended audience."
The network rep added to the Post: "We're thrilled with the launch and Chris' news-making interviews."
Wallace announced he was leaving Fox News in December 2021 after 18 years and was "ready for a new adventure." CNN then confirmed he was joining its new network streaming service.
It was reported in February that Wallace was "irate" after CNN president Jeff Zucker was forced out after his admission that he had violated corporate rules by not revealing his romantic relationship with a CNN marketing executive.
"Chris is the type of person who makes it known if he doesn't like something," a source told Radar. "He went over there for Zucker and now Zucker is gone.
"Wallace feels that he has been stiffed. He's got no staff, no executive producer, and the guy he gave up a prized gig for has just walked out the door."
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