Late-night TV shows used to be a form of entertainment Americans would universally consider funny and enjoyable to watch. However, in recent years these shows embraced more of a political agenda rather than focusing on comedy. Americans have demonstrated they are tired of this political messaging, as ad revenue for late-night television has collapsed 41 percent over the last five years.
Variety wrote a lengthy article of well over 4,500 words trying to explain why woke late-night shows have been struggling. For most of the article, they try to blame it on social media, streaming services, and the pandemic. However, a short portion of the article mentions why many Americans turned away from the woke, arrogant late-night personalities: their politics. Breitbart reported a part of Variety’s article:
As the election of President Donald Trump polarized the nation, some of late-night’s voices chose to lean into politics. The fragmentation of viewing and the trickier conversational terrain have hurt the programs, says Harrison. “There has been so much political news over the last six to eight years, and that has filtered into late night. When that becomes a large part of your program, in this environment, you are — by math — probably not appealing to half your potential audience,” he cautions. Meanwhile, as more viewers bypass linear TV, he says. “It’s difficult to discover these shows or promote them.”
It continued to break down the specific declines in revenue across different late-night shows:
In 2018, seven late night programs — NBC’s “Tonight” and “Late Night,” CBS’ “Late Show” and “Late Late Show,” ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” Comedy Central’s “Daily Show” and NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” — drew more than $698 million in advertising in 2018, according to Vivvix, a tracker of ad spending. By 2022, that total came to $412.7 million — a drop of approximately 41% over five years. Fallon, Kimmel, Colbert and the others have all in recent years had to grapple not only with viewers moving to streaming, but with a coronavirus pandemic that forced their shows to embrace performances without a band and live audiences and absences due to infection.
What Variety doesn’t mention is how conservative personalities like Greg Gutfeld have skyrocketed in ratings. Last year, Fox News’ Greg Gutfeld became “the undisputed king of comedy”. The American Tribune reported on Gutfeld’s recent success:
In continued ascension, Gutfeld can now claim new success with news that his late-night comedy show “Gutfeld!” has supplanted big-budget, legacy productions at NBC, CBS, and ABC. That’s right, Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel, and Stephen Colbert got dethroned after years of hurling obnoxious and unfunny half-truths and falsehoods at anyone who dared disagree with their leftist morality.
With August set to close, Gutfeld will make history by becoming the first cable program that is the “most-watched” late-night show, beating out broadcast competitors at CBS, NBC, and ABC.
According to Fox News, Gutfeld’s Gutfeld! averaged “2.19 million viewers to defeat CBS’ The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, which averaged 2.15 viewers,” marking the first month since January 2017 that the left-wing comedian did not finish at Number 1 in late-night television between broadcast and cable. In the month of August, Gutfeld! also outpaced ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live!, NBC’s Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon, and Comedy Central’s The Daily Show.
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