CNN's Jesus Series Tops Cable News on Sunday

Finding Jesus Still - H 2015
Courtesy of CNN

Finding Jesus Still - H 2015

'Finding Jesus: Faith, Fact, Forgery' opens to 1.14 million viewers, proving that religious fare works for all sorts of networks.

Christianity remains a hot topic on TV, even for cable news. As other networks (NBC, Nat Geo) ready scripted outings about Jesus Christ timed to the upcoming Easter holiday, CNN got a jump on the religious rush this Sunday night with the premiere of its new doc series, Finding Jesus.

The one-hour debut of the program topped all of cable news last night, per early Nielsen ratings, averaging 1.14 million viewers. That topped Fox News Channel (634,000) and MSNBC (275,000) combined and now ranks as CNN's second-biggest original series opening behind 2014's The Sixties. Sunday remains a strong night for CNN. One of the targeted time periods for its ongoing push into unscripted and documentary fare, it faces less competition than it does during weeknights.

Finding Jesus also made a solid showing among adults 25-54, averaging 371,000 over FNC and MSNBC's shared 111,000 viewers.

CNN also debuted The Wonder List With Bill Weir last night. Though it lost much of its lead-in and boasted a much more narrow margin of victory over its cable news contemporaries, it brought in a solid 706,000 viewers and 294,000 adults 25-54.

The Wonder List lifted CNN's recent showing in the time slot by 160 percent.