As Fox News commentator Greg Gutfeld continues to cement his place as the king of late-night TV, it appears that NBC executives are having a bit of buyer’s remorse after handing Jimmy Fallon an $80 million contract extension.
According to RadarOnline, NBC is getting just a little heartburn as Fallon’s ratings are eclipsed by a mere cable TV host’s ratings after they handed Fallon a fat contract.
NBC generously bestowed an $80 million contract extension on Fallon about 19 months ago. Unfortunately for the legacy TV network, Fallon’s “The Tonight Show” is only pulling in about 1.3 million viewers, about half of hat Gutfeld is earning on Fox News Network.
Meanwhile, Fox’s “Gutfeld!” had an average total audience of 2.355 million viewers in Aug., according to Forbes. Granted, Fox itself is still a ratings king. But Gutfeld is one of the network’s stars.
For his part, Fallon has been earning fewer and fewer viewers as the years roll on. RadarOnline noted that Fallon debuted with 11 million viewers when he first took over the show back in 2014. But this year he isn’t even finding as many viewers as CBS’s Stephen Colbert.
One insider even said that network executives are eyeing a way to shed Fallon.
“There have already been shake-ups in the production staff, and even with Jimmy’s contract, he isn’t immune. NBC would buy him out if they believe they can find another host who can deliver more viewers,” the source told RadarOnline.
Indeed, last Aug., Gutfeld made history as the very first cable network star to win the Late-Night ratings wars for an entire month running as he bested every rival.
Along with rival Colbert, Fallon is also looking to a new challenge with Comedy Central’s announcement that it intends to try fill ins for its “The Daily Show” in the wake of the signing off by previous host Trevor Noah.
Comedy Central has announced that Chelsea Handler, Sarah Silverman, Leslie Jones, Wanda Sykes, and D.L. Hughley will each get a chance to host the late-night show to see if any of them can earn some eyeballs.
Still, many have noticed that, Gutfeld aside, all the late-night shows are hemorrhaging viewers.
They wonder why they’re losing audience…https://t.co/gBCWe8ZezA
— Beto Silva 🇧🇷 (@elbetosan) January 8, 2023
It may not be too surprising that Fallon is losing the ratings game. Especially when looking at some of the “comedy” he has been doling out to viewers of late.
For instance, Fallon was brutally mocked this week for his “cringy” COVID song and dance number:
Wow. Talk about sad and desperate.
Watch @jimmyfallon’s bizarre Covid 19 propaganda number ⬇️.
I remember when @FallonTonight used to be funny…
You have to wonder who actually watches this and laughs?! pic.twitter.com/g3AaGvgeD3
— Stephanie Hamill (@STEPHMHAMILL) January 7, 2023
Pro tip: when you see Jimmy Fallon, immediately turn the channel
— Milton Findley (@Patriot_1945) January 8, 2023
Even Elon Musk took a shot at Fallon after a false rumor that “The Tonight Show” host had died hit Twitter. When Fallon asked Musk to “fix” the rumors of his death, Musk joked “Fix what?”
Then there is the important demos. Gutfeld’s show is also leading in adults 25-54, one of the most important demographic groups for advertisers.
One reason for his success is that he is not following the pack down well-trod paths. Gutfeld said his show is different by design.
“People have had it with being told that every institution in your life is somehow oppressor vs. oppressed. The thing we did was we said we’re no different than you are. We’re looking at this stuff with a jaundiced eye. We get it. We’re on your side. So, I think it’s a combination of we’re entertainment, and we’re not homework,” he told Forbes.
Gutfeld said his show crosses boundaries because he has little regard for the old ideas.
The Fox comedian is so right, too. People really are sick and tired of the biased, left-wing hacks pretending to be late-night comedians. Their shows are not funny or inventive. And Gutfeld’s audience is soaring as a result.