Former Biden administration official Symone Sanders debuted her eponymous MSNBC show on Saturday and, like most things with MSNBC (or CNN), the ratings were pitiful. Despite an interview with First Lady Jill Biden, Nielsen Media Research said her show drew only 361,000 viewers at 4:00 p.m. Eastern and only 29,000 in the key 25-54 demographic, pulling down the time slot by 26 percent year to date and 42 percent in the demo.
Sanders’s atrocious start came into even starker perspective when noting the fact that, along with losing in her time slot to CNN and Fox News, she drew fewer people on Saturday than shows such as Food Network’s Dinners, Drive ins & Dives, Investigation Discovery’s Deadly Affairs: Betrayed, History’s Secret Skinwalker Ranch, and even a 4:30 a.m. Eastern syndicated re-air of Frasier.
With her launch coming six days prior to former colleague Jen Psaki’s departure from the White House in order to join to MSNBC and Peacock, things aren’t boding well for Team Biden, even on the TV front.
Airing opposite Sanders, FNC’s Fox News Live had 842,000 total viewers with 163,000 in the demo and CNN Newsroom with the ever-pompous Jim Acosta fetched 460,000 viewers (73,000 in the demo).
Sanders was similarly crushed in her time slot by a rerun of Animal Planet’s Dr. Jeff: Rocky Mountain with 368,000 total and 88,000 in the demo and TBS showing an episode of the hit 90s show Friends (365,000 total and 204,000 demo viewers).
But how bad was it for Sanders? It was so bad that shows airing overnight Friday into Saturday ran laps around her. History’s Best of Pawn Stars had an episode that began at 1:05 a.m. Eastern that pulled in 383,000 total viewers and 137,000 in the demo with Secret Skinwalker Ranch fetching the same in total viewers and 105,000 in 25-54 11 hours later.
Even obscure shows sailed above Sanders. Saturday episodes of Investigation Discovery’s The Devil Speaks (376,000 and 155,000) and Deadly Affairs: Betrayed (371,000 and 149,000), National Geographic’s To Catch a Smuggler (363,000 and 116,000), Travel Channel’s Portals to Hell (371,000 and 107,000), and Cheaters on VH1 (374,000 and 126,000) all drew more in both total viewers and ages 25-54.
Along with Frasier and Friends, Sanders fell behind reruns classics/long-running shows such as Golden Girls, NCIS, Reba, and Spongebob Squarepants.