CNN is off to a modest ratings start with its weekly half-hour sports series "Unguarded," which placed fourth among cable newsies in its timeslot Friday night and made MSNBC's competing Alec Baldwin program look like a world-beater.
The Rachel Nichols-hosted "Unguarded" averaged about 288,000 viewers in the 10:30 p.m. half-hour, according to Nielsen, including 92,000 in the adults 25-54 demo. This is about 30% lower than what CNN had been averaging in the time period this quarter.
In their common 10:30 p.m. half-hour Friday, the Baldwin show beat "Unguarded" handily in both total viewers (452,000 to 288,000) and the demo (125,000 to 92,000). Fox News Channel's special "Charles Krauthammer -- A Life That Matters" blew away everyone with 2.65 million viewers, including 377,000 adults 25-54.
HLN finished third among the cable news outlets at 10:30 p.m. with 362,000 total viewers and 175,000 in the demo.
"Unguarded" is CNN's first swing in the sports world in the 12 years since it canceled "Sports Tonight." Nichols, a nine-year vet of ESPN before joining CNN/Turner Sports earlier this year, interviewed LeBron James for the first episode, which also featured a roundtable sports discussion.
CNN's Sports Series 'Unguarded' Comes Up Short in its Premiere Friday
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