CNN, which has struggled against its cable news competition, may be turning around its ratings situation. Variety reports that the channel has posted some gains, with its original series fueling the resurgence.
"During the second quarter, according to Nielsen estimates, CNN leap-frogged MSNBC in total-day viewership (344,000 to 337,000) as well as the 25-54 demo (106,000 to 104,000) — the first time it has placed second among the news networks since the second quarter of last year (a particularly heavy news period). Fox News Channel remained the leader in both categories," the story reports.
The article adds: "In primetime, MSNBC still rated ahead of CNN in total viewers for a third straight quarter (569,000 to 472,000), but CNN tied with MSNBC in adults 25-54 (162,000). The Turner network also was runner-up to FNC in dayside (9-4 p.m.) averages in both total viewers (378,000) and the demo (93,000)."
For its first five Thursday 9 p.m. premieres, CNN's "The Sixties," the channel's newest original series, averaged about 1.1 million total viewers and 297,000 viewers in the key news demo of adults 25-54, according to Nielsen figures, the report notes. The program ranked second in its time slot among news networks.
"Its primetime performance on the weekends is where CNN has looked best in comparisons to its rivals, finishing ahead of Fox News in adults 25-54 (189,000) during the quarter and running second to Fox in total viewers (483,000)," Variety adds. "Leading the way on the weekend was the third season of 'Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown,' which won its Sunday 9 p.m. time period — averaging 402,000 adults 25-54 over its eight premiere airings and showing gains vs. last year."
Leading out from "Bourdain" at 10 p.m. on Sundays, “Morgan Spurlock: Inside Man,” in its second season, was second to HLN among the cable news channels in adults 25-54 with 228,000. That was a 16% increase over CNN's 2013 average. In the same time period, Fox News fell 36% to 120,000, while MSNBC slipped 25% to 206,000.
"Other CNN shows ranked second among the news networks in their respective time periods, including 'Early Start With John Berman and Christine Romans,' 'The Lead With Jake Tapper,' 'AC 360' (beating MSNBC’s 'Chris Hayes' in the demo), 'Smerconish,' 'Inside Politics With John King,' 'State of the Union With Candy Crowley,' 'Fareed Zakaria GPS' and 'Reliable Sources With Brian Stelter,'" Variety notes.