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Fox News host Greg Gutfeld is riding a wave of popularity and defeating competition that has stunned many.
The host has emerged as the new king of late night comedy against mainstay shows as he has averaged 2.1 million viewers through 2022, Nielsen Media Research showed, The Washington Times reported.
“The size of that viewing audience bests both NBC’s ‘The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon’ and ABC’s ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live’ and also consistently trumps such cable rivals as Comedy Central’s ‘The Daily Show’ and HBO’s ‘Last Week Tonight’ and ‘Real Time With Bill Maher,’” the report said.
Even Vox, known to be more of a progressive news company, said “The biggest comedy show on late-night right now is not on ABC or NBC or CBS or Fox. It’s not on Comedy Central. It’s certainly not streaming. It’s on Fox News, and its name is ‘Gutfeld!’”
And that has prompted CNN to examine the idea of doing its own late night comedy show based on the news as it looks at more mainstream candidates to host the show.
“Brass at the famously progressive news network have reportedly floated names such as Bill Maher, Trevor Noah, Arsenio Hall, and Jon Stewart, as candidates, to offer a nontraditional, late-night-esque take on the day’s news. Fox News has found success with ‘Gutfeld!,’ the late-night comedy show hosted by Greg Gutfeld,” the Daily Mail said.
Late-night host and comedian Jimmy Fallon recently secured a huge contract extension from NBC to continue his show into the foreseeable future but the network now regrets making the $80 million deal. And not surprisingly, it’s a Fox News personality that is to blame.
Radar Online reports that sources told the outlet Greg Gutfeld’s late-night offering on Fox News now regularly beats Fallon’s “Tonight Show” in the ratings, “the TV flop’s sinking number has left NBC brass with buyer’s remorse.”
The outlet reported: “Nearly 19 months after the Peacock Network handed Fallon a whopping $80 million five-year contract extension, The Tonight Show is drawing under 1.3 million eyeballs — less than half the audience of upstart Gutfeld! But that number is even more shocking when compared to Fallon’s celebrated debut! The Saturday Night Live alum, 48, chalked up an impressive 11 million viewers when he first took over for outgoing legend Jay Leno — but now he’s also being bested in the ratings by Stephen Colbert’s CBS Late Show!”
“The network knows the days are gone when tens of millions of people would tune in for The Tonight Show — but they were counting on Jimmy to do better than this!” the source told Radar Online.
That said, Fallon has managed to attract some 30 million subscribers to a YouTube channel where he posts snippets of the show, including chats with guests. But that’s not cutting it, either, according to the source, who told Radar Online: “That really doesn’t drive up ad rates for the regular show — and the network doesn’t want The Tonight Show to exist just to feed YouTube.”
While a TV insider told the outlet that Fallon’s ratings are good, a third source countered, “There have already been shake-ups in the production staff, and even with Jimmy’s contract, he isn’t immune.
“NBC would buy him out if they believe they can find another host who can deliver more viewers,” the source noted.
Notes Radar Online: “Fallon has a bit of competition coming his way in the late-night field after Trevor Noah stepped down as host of The Daily Show. This week it was announced that Chelsea Handler, Sarah Silverman, Leslie Jones, Wanda Sykes, and D.L. Hughley will all be guest hosts in the next couple of weeks. The network will make a decision on the next host based on the guest’s performance. Handler has been gunning for the role.”
Handler told Radar Online: “That’s a great gig. So I want to go do that and see how that feels. And it’s gonna feel awesome because I’m gonna crush it. Because I love this stuff. I love the news, I love pop culture, I love combining it all with smart personalities, bringing on comedians like I did on Chelsea Lately, that roundtable aspect where you can have voices—more than a singular voice, more than one man speaking on behalf of women.”
Handler’s E! network show lasted seven years, and at the time, she said she was “surprised” it lasted so long.