As a former reality TV host and an insecure, transactional president, Donald Trump has been obsessed with his polling and TV ratings.
By that measure, Trump’s State of the Union speech last night was an unmitigated failure. (Not to say that its content alone wouldn’t have earned the same evaluation.)
According to Hollywood news site Deadline.com, Trump’s third annual national address to the nation plummeted in the early overnight ratings of the major TV networks that carried it by an astonishing 21% compared to last year’s lie-fest.
That’s the kind of precipitous drop in ratings that would typically lead to the cancellation of a series under the ruthless scrutiny of network TV executives carefully studying the appeal of the programs that they broadcast.
Diving deeper into the numbers and audience demographics, Deadline revealed that while among total viewers CBS had the largest of the diminished audience for the president’s speech — followed by NBC, ABC, and Fox — among the commercially valuable 18-49 demographic NBC and Fox led the pack with declines of 36% and 18% respectively from their coverage of last year’s State of the Union.
The ratings failure of Trump’s mid-impeachment speech leaves the president with one less thing to crow about on his Twitter feed and suggests that the audience of American voters is beginning to get bored and is now tuning out the tired plot points and tragic overtones of the blatant farce that is the Trump presidency.
Let’s hope that the American people will be engaged enough in the upcoming elections to employ a tried and true trick used by network executives when they need to reenergize a once-popular program that’s slid into a steep decline — a complete recasting of the principal players.
Original reporting by Dominic Patten and Dino-Ray Ramos at Deadline.com.
Vinnie Longobardo is a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music and art.