CNN's simulcast of Bill Maher's program fell short in ratings as the struggling news network was put on blast for the TV personality's recent "ageist" remark on Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders, RadarOnline.com has learned.
However, it dropped double digits in viewers and specifically in the age 25-54 demographic. Maher's program averaged 345,000 since its start on CNN last week, down 11 percent among viewers and 22 percent in the younger demo.
FNC's Gutfeld! took the lead by 438 percent in viewers.
On Friday, Maher caused a stir by dropping an F-bomb on live TV while having a discussion with former U.S. counter-terrorism intelligence officer Malcolm Nance, pollster Kristen Soltis Anderson, and democratic strategist Paul Begala.
Sanders was brought up while they chatted about "nepo babies," AKA kids of famous parents who benefited from their family connections.
"I've noticed this phenomenon, as many people have out here. It's fine if your parents were in show business. Just don't say, as I've heard some of them say, 'Well, it wasn't any easier for me.' Yes, it was. It was easier!" Maher explained.
"Or the other thing they say a lot is, 'Well, it just got me in the door.' That's a lot of it in showbusiness, is getting in the door," he added.
Maher doubled down, "Anybody can act. It's not that f---ing hard."
After dropping the F-bomb, Maher put his hand to his mouth and apologized. "Oh, sorry. Sorry, CNN. I know. I forgot. You're not supposed to — not on HBO," he said.
The discussion continued on Sanders, whose father is Mike Huckabee, a previous holder of the Arkansas governor title. Begala noted that while he is not necessarily a supporter, he said she very much earned the position "fair and square."
"I noticed that she made a big point of age," Maher later brought up. "She said Biden is 80 and I'm 40. By the way, I thought she was 60 but OK." He added, "I was shocked that she was only 40. I mean Washington has a way of taking a toll on you."
"Nice move, Licht. Is that how you win over conservatives? With ageist comments toward Republican female leaders?" one TV insider pondered.
During CNN's first airing of Overtime on Friday, the network averaged 401,000 viewers and 92,000 in the A25-54 demographic, placing third in cable news viewers during the quarter hour. Plus, it caused upset among viewers.
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Furthemore, Overtime on CNN failed to garner even half the audience HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher regularly upholds.
HBO averaged 826,000 in viewers and 146,000 in A25-54 last year.