Fox's Red-Eye Beats Primetime Cable Shows

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Via Instapundit, Mediaite reports that Fox's late night show Red-Eye is outperforming CNN's whole primetime lineup.  Sez Mediaite:

The show is looking up year-to-year as well. Compared to September 2008, the program grew 23% in total viewers and 43% in the A25-54 demographic. But let's look at the individual shows. Last week we wrote about the 13 shows at the top of the ratings in September - all on Fox News. Red Eye, naturally, wasn't one of them. Here's where they fell - this is the full chart for September programs.

Red Eye averaged 432,000 total viewers and 202,000 in the demo. Let's deal with the demo first - CNN's 8pmET show, hosted by Campbell Brown, averaged 191,000 in the demo. Let's just let that one sink in - Fox News had more people in the all important A25-54 demographic watching their channel at three in the morning (east coast time) than CNN had for the show that leads off their prime time. This says as much about Fox News as it does about CNN. Wow.

In total viewers (and demo), Red Eye beat the cable news competition three hours later. All three other morning shows, MSNBC's Morning Joe, CNN's American Morning and HLN's Morning Express had less viewers in September.

Part of the credit for this can be attributed to Red Eye, which has been consistently growing since its debut in 2007 and built up a solid following. Host Greg Gutfeld and regulars Bill Schulz and Andy Levy have been effective in connecting with their viewers through new media and other means. Some credit goes to Glenn Beck, whose repeat at 2amET was added a few months ago, providing a nice lead-in for the show. But in general, this shows not only the continued and expanding dominance of Fox News, but a major boost for the program some people thought wouldn't survive.

Mmmm . . . maybe.  But living in a two-insomniac household, I think it might have something to do with the fact that CNN has a lot of competition in primetime, while Red-Eye is lined up against . . .  infomercials for the TurboCookerExpress.

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Megan McArdle is a columnist at Bloomberg View and a former senior editor at The Atlantic. Her new book is The Up Side of Down.

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