‘CNN Heroes’ falls flat with only 422K viewers for network’s second-least watched Sunday night since 1997

Media top headlines December 14

In media news today, charges filed against a CNN producer of inducing minors for sex reveal shocking details, progressives erupt over Elon Musk being named TIME ‘Person of the Year,’ and The Atlantic’s David Frum suggests unvaccinated patients should be treated last in hospitals.

CNN enlisted celebrities and musicians to bring relevance to the struggling network for a heavily promoted special on Sunday night that turned into its second-least watched Sunday primetime lineup from 8-11 p.m. since 1997.

The 15th annual “CNN Heroes: All-Star Tribute,” hosted by Anderson Cooper and Kelly Ripa, managed only 422,000 viewers and an alarmingly low 42,000 among the advertiser-coveted demographic of adults age 25-54. 

“CNN Heroes” aired from 8-10 p.m. ET and repeated from 10 p.m. to 12 a.m.

The 15th annual "CNN Heroes: All-Star Tribute," hosted by Anderson Cooper and Kelly Ripa, managed only 422,000 viewers and an alarmingly low 42,000 among the advertiser-coveted demographic of adults age 25-54. 
(CNN)

The disappointing special shed 55% of its total viewers and 76% of its demo audience compared to last year, despite appearances by “Law and Order” star Christopher Meloni, “Wonder Woman” actress Lynda Carter, “West Side Story” actress Rachel Zegler, musician Josh Groban, “Claws” star Niecy Nash and singer Aloe Blacc.

CNN’s only Sunday primetime lineup over the past 25 years with a smaller audience came on Feb. 3, 2013 – the night of Super Bowl XLVII. 

“CNN Heroes,” which celebrates “inspiring stories of everyday people changing the world,” failed to resonate with Americans despite the noble cause. The 2021 CNN Hero of the Year, Shirley Raines, started a nonprofit organization that provides food, clothing, and hair and makeup services to unfortunate people living on Los Angeles’ Skid Row.

Shirley Raines was awarded the 2021 CNN Hero of the Year. 
(CNN)

While “CNN Heroes” was particularly disappointing, ratings issues are nothing new for the scandal-plagued network. 

November was CNN’s lowest-rated month among primetime total viewers since 2015. The struggling network’s most popular show, “Anderson Cooper 360,” finished No. 24 overall among cable news, behind 15 Fox News and eight MSNBC programs during the news-heavy month. 

It’s been a rough week for CNN, as the network also fired senior producer John Griffin Monday after he was arrested last week for alleged shocking sex crimes with young girls. 

Griffin, a producer for CNN’s long-struggling morning program “New Day,” was arrested on Friday by the FBI and charged by a grand jury in Vermont “with three counts of using a facility of interstate commerce to attempt to entice minors to engage in unlawful sexual activity.”  

“The charges against Mr. Griffin are deeply disturbing. We learned of his arrest Friday afternoon and terminated his employment Monday,” a CNN spokesperson told Fox News Digital.  

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