CNN has announced the addition of Bill Maher’s “Overtime” segment to its Friday night lineup, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The segment, an extension of Maher’s HBO show “Real Time with Bill Maher,” will air after its initial broadcast on CNN beginning Friday, Feb. 3, at 11:30 p.m. ET. It will also be available for streaming online.
But according to Breitbart’s John Nolte, whether this will be the panacea CNN desperately needs for its ailing ratings is yet to be determined.
“Sure,” Nolte writes, “sometimes Maher colors outside the leftist lines. But beyond that, why does CNN think an HBO show that attracts only 800,000 viewers will improve its catastrophic ratings? Like CNN, Maher is part of the elite, leftist bubble.”
“HBO has nearly 40 million U.S. subscribers, and fewer than a million watch ‘Real Time.’ I’m sure that number picks up over the course of the week as people catch up, but that doesn’t change my overall point. Bill Maher is not a mainstream success. Instead, he’s an elitist serving a small niche. Sure, that niche is a little bigger than CNN’s niche, but this is no way to boost ratings.”
CNN has been struggling with low ratings, with its primetime viewership falling under 500,000. The impact of Maher’s addition to the network remains to be seen, including the potential for controversy if he makes statements that differ from the network’s political stance.
When asked by the Los Angeles Times how the network could be “less politically partisan” while bringing on an opinionated comedian like Maher, CNN’s CEO Chris Licht responded, “there is nothing wrong with opinion or perspective, especially in prime time, but it has to be authentic. We are completely uninterested in partisan hackery and ideological talking points.”
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