December 8, 2023

If you are looking for a late-night show to watch instead of the tired, boring, and liberal ones that have dominated legacy networks, you’re in luck. This week the Writers Guild of America (WGA) members are on strike and the shows have gone dark. All of them except for on Fox News Channel, where the new kid on the block rules. Gutfeld! will be on the air with a new show. Jazz touched on the late-night shows going dark in an earlier post.

As it turns out, Greg Gutfeld writes his monologues and he and his team are not members of the WGA. Ah, yes, the joys of not being under the thumb of union overlords.

All of the other late-night shows from The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Late Night with Seth Meyers and The Daily Show have gone dark.

Gutfeld’s show has been a ratings winner since it began. It’s popular because it is not a traditional late-night show. Gutfeld plays host and has four guests each night with whom he talks about current events and popular culture. He opens with a monologue and then introduces the guests, all of whom are on the stage together with him.

“Late-night TV is a weird combination of celebrity promotion and publicist authoritarianism,” he told Deadline. “It’s a famous person talking to a famous person about a product that is probably mediocre at best, whether it’s a sitcom or a movie. And it never changes. I don’t want to do that. I get extremely bored talking about anybody’s project unless it’s something that is so strange.”

It works. To be honest, there is nothing for conservatives on the other shows. Those hosts do not like conservatives and do not care about them as viewers. Gutfeld’s show is very conservative-friendly. The show has maintained more than 25 percent of the late-night audience share in 2022. It ranks on average as the highest-rated late-night program since August 2022. American viewers were ready for something different.

Gutfeld has been dubbed The New King Of Late Night. The Super Bowl ad that promoted the show used that as a theme. Gutfeld was dressed as a king, complete with a throne.

Of course, not everything you see in a commercial is meant to be taken literally. However, ratings pages on USTVBD demonstrate Gutfeld! pretty consistently gets more viewers than Jimmy Kimmel Live! and The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, two of the three big broadcast network late-night shows. It is often neck-and-neck in the total viewer count with CBS’s The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. This is all despite FOX News, as a cable channel, not having the same household reach as ABC, NBC, and CBS do as broadcast networks. As late-night television has increasingly catered to a more liberal audience, Gutfeld! has found success catering to a more conservative and libertarian audience. Ironically, it is arguably FOX News’ least politically-oriented show, competing against a broadcast late night far more politically-oriented than any prime time program.

Gutfeld! dominates other cable news channels in that time slot, too. The ratings overshadow those of CNN and MSNBC combined. Some nights the number of viewers is 5 times or more than the total number of viewers of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show. There is an entertainment market that is friendly toward conservative-leaning audiences. Gutfeld and FNC realized that and filled the vacuum. I know I haven’t watched late-night shows in years, yet I regularly tune in to Gutfeld’s show.

Let the others go with the status quo and watch their audiences continue to shrink. It’s refreshing to see a non-union entertainment show thrive. It’s also nice to watch a late-night “comedy” show and not be insulted because of my political philosophy.