There have been some unusual circumstances with CNN and MSNBC’s star anchors, leaving them with large holes to fill at one of the most crucial hours of the day. MSNBC has temporarily suspended Rachel Maddow, while Chris Cuomo was fired following a series of scandals that embarrassed CNN. Although the reasons are different, liberal networks find themselves in unstable circumstances without their 9 p.m. broadcasts. ET mainstays.
“The primetime hour at 9 p.m. is often a banner for the entire primetime lineup. McCall stated that MSNBC and CNN are currently in a difficult time slot, which is a real drag on their primetime.” Fox News Digital.
9 p.m. The ET hour has been historically a prime time slot for networks, with broadcast and cable stations placing some of their most popular programs between 8-11 p.m. ET window. “Seinfeld” was the first TV program to air on NBC’s “Must See TV” in the 1990s. “Cheers” occupied that time slot before. ABC’s Monday Night Football aired at 9 p.m. every day for more than 30 years. CNN’s Larry King Live aired at the same time in the pre-Jeff Zucker days. There are many notable shows that occupy the 9:00 p.m. time slot, but they don’t include any programs on MSNBC or CNN in the near future.
McCall stated that “both CNN and MSNBC are currently struggling in a crucial time slot indicates that neither channel has a strong bench of talent but also that they failed to plan ahead and have other hosts ready to step in,” McCall added.
CNN has tried different options at 9:59 p.m. ET has tried many different options at 9 p.m. since Cuomo was terminated last year. However, none of them have been successful in finding an audience. MSNBC’s Monday 9 p.m. Maddow-sized meteor will air on Monday.
Maddow last week announced that she would be absent from MSNBC for several more weeks. She will also take a break to focus on other projects, at least until April. Maddow hinted at other extended absences and said that professional burnout could lead to her wanting to reduce her daily program.
Maddow stated to viewers that they are just taking each step one at a time.
Like Cuomo and Maddow, a rotating host pool will replace Maddow. This move places an unproven primetime host in the middle “All in With Chris Hayes” or “The Last Word With Lawrence O’Donnell”, which are already struggling to attract advertisers.
McCall stated that Maddow’s absence is a problem for MSNBC as Hayes and O’Donnell before 9 p.m. can’t generate enough viewers to sustain the evening’s audience.
CNN has used Michael Smerconish in Cuomo’s old spot, extended Anderson Cooper’s program, and spent two weeks airing the poorly rated “Democracy in Peril” specials, hosted by Briannakeilar and Jim Acosta. However, none of these options resonated with Americans.
CNN’s average viewership at 9 p.m. has been apathetically low since Dec. 6, when Cuomo was fired. Fox News’ “Hannity,” meanwhile, averaged 2.8million viewers, while Maddow earned 2.1 million for MSNBC.
McCall stated that CNN’s rating problems were so serious now, it could take years to recover and require a major strategic redirection.
It is unclear whether Velshi and the other MSNBC fill-in hosts will be able to keep the ship afloat. However, Maddow has been the network’s most-watched host for years. CNN has also shown that viewers tend to move on when popular programs are replaced by rotating bit players.
William A. Jacobson, a Cornell Law School professor, and media critic feels that holes at 9 p.m. may be the latest sign that liberal networks are struggling to remain relevant under President Biden.