TV Ratings: CNN's 'Crossfire' Audience Wanes During First Week

The cable news net's rebooted launch sees declines from its Sept. 9 premiere, falling 47 percent over the course of its first five telecasts.
Peter Yang/CNN

CNN’s Crossfire reboot may have something of an uphill battle with viewers. The half-hour series, an update on the cable news network’s long-running left-vs-right debate show, saw its numbers steadily drop over the course of its first week on the air.

Crossfire debuted to modest growth for the network on Sept. 9, averaging 581,000 viewers and 171,000 in cable news’ advertiser-friendly adults 25-54 demographic, but even the big news surrounding President Obama’s address on Syria didn’t stop viewership from dropping 47 percent by Friday.

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Each of the subsequent four telecasts dropped double digits in both total viewers and the demo, before settling at 309,000 viewers and 103,000 adults 25-54 – the latter a loss of 40 percent. For the week, Crossfire averaged 438,000 viewers and 147,000 adults 25-54. Those numbers are down roughly 10 percent from the time slot’s year-to-date average – and, among viewers, down 14 percent from the week before.

Competitors Special Report With Bret Baier (Fox News Channel) and Politics Nation (MSNBC), by contrast, were both up week-to-week. Leader Special Report bested its year-to-date average with 2.136 million viewers and 368,000 adults 25-54.

The new Crossfire, CNN’s latest launch under Jeff Zucker, features panelists Newt Gingrich, Stephanie Cutter, Van Jones and S. E. Cupp.