The Christiane Amanpour as "This Week" host experiment so far is a huge failure for ABC as ratings have plummeted since she took over the Sunday political talk show.
Last Sunday's program attracted 29 percent less viewers than the same day a year ago.
Making matters worse for ABC executives is the fact that Amanpour's numbers are far worse than interim host Jake Tapper's who did most of the anchoring after George Stephanopoulos left for "Good Morning America."
As Steve Krakauer reported Monday, the decision to bring Amanpour over from CNN is so far not looking like a good one:
Christiane Amanpour has been ABC's This Week host for nine Sundays and she has finished second, but mostly third, among the competition in both total viewers and the A25-54 demographic.
Last Sunday, September 19, the show didn't just finish in third place, behind NBC's Meet The Press and CBS' Face The Nation - it was the lowest ratings in the A25-54 demographic in more than seven years.
NBC had 988,000 viewers in the demo, CBS 854,000 and ABC 608,000. The last time ABC had a lower rating in the demo was the August 24, 2003 show (including regular/full telecasts), near the beginning of George Stephanopoulos‘ reign. Year-to-year, the show was down 29% in total viewers and 38% in the demo, while it declined in both categories week-to-week as well (while NBC and CBS grew).
Last Sunday's failure certainly wasn't a function of bad guests, as Amanpour had an exclusive interview with Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad followed by a chat with former President Bill Clinton.
If these numbers don't produce some second-guessing amongst ABC's top brass, the fact that Tapper during his brief reign occasionally bested "Meet the Press" for the number one slot should.
After all, this is something Amanpour has yet to achieve, and if she continues to perform as poorly as she did this Sunday (see Brent Baker's "Amanpour Rues Lack of Appreciation for Obama's ‘Amazing' Achievements, Then Slams ‘Bizarre' & ‘Fringe Quality' of GOP Candidates") it seems unlikely she ever will.