May 3rd, 2021

CNN’s Newest Original Series “The Story of Late Night” Premieres at #1 in Cable News in Demo 25-54

United Shades of America with W. Kamau Bell Easily Tops MSNBC in Demos and Total Viewers


CNN’s newest Original Series, The Story of Late Night, premiered as the #1 program in cable news in the key demo adults 25-54 and younger viewers (18-34) and easily surpassed MSNBC in total viewers last night. The debut episode (“Inventing Late Night,” 5/2 9:00pm) averaged 209k, FNC followed with 182k and MSNBC lagged with 56k in the key demo 25-54 and was up +23% over the prior four weeks.  In younger viewers (18-34), CNN had 53k to FNC’s 41k to MSNBC’s 3k.  In total viewers, SOLN attracted 997k, +34% above prior four Sundays and a +114% advantage over MSNBC’s 466k.

Next Sunday’s episode (“Carson: King of Late Night”) will examine how Johnny Carson deftly navigated the turbulent 1960s to elevate The Tonight Show and become the undisputed king of late night.  The episode airs on May 9th at 9:00pm, ET.

Executive producers for The Story of Late Night are David Brady, Kate Harrison Karman, John Ealer, and Bill Carter for Cream Productions and Amy Entelis and Lizzie Fox for CNN Original Series.



Season six of the Emmy award-winning United Shades of America with W. Kamau Bell easily outperformed MSNBC across the board last night.  The series averaged 142k among adults 25-54 during its premiere last night (“Policing the Police,” 5/2 10pm), outperforming MSNBC’s 48k by +199%. In younger viewers (18-34), the series had 28k to MSNBC’s 9k to FNCS 13k.  In total viewers, the Bell-led series had a +95% advantage over MSNBC (623k vs. MSNBC’s 319k).

Next Sunday’s episode (“Black to the Future”) examines the lack of equity and representation in STEM through the vibrant lens of Afrofuturism on May 9th at 10:00pm, ET.

United Shades of America is executive produced by W. Kamau Bell, Lydia Tenaglia, Chris Collins, Sandra Zweig and Morgan Fallon for Zero Point Zero, Jimmy Fox, Layla Smith and Tim Pastore for Main Event Media/All3Media, and Amy Entelis and Lyle Gamm for CNN.

Data is based on Nielsen Fast Nationals, L+SD