Charles Barkley’s CNN Show Ends


Robert McGreevy Contributor
Font Size:

CNN is ending Charles Barkley and Gayle King’s weekly “King Charles” nighttime show after a six-month run where they failed to attract a significant audience.

The pair’s ratings hit a steep decline after an already less-than-stellar debut in November 2023. The show premiered with an audience of 500,000 and 139,000 in the key 25-54 demographic, according to Nielsen data obtained by the New York Post. It was the network’s worst prime-time weeknight series debut in over a decade, according to the Post.

The show was announced as a limited series in November and was always set to end some time in spring, a CNN spokesperson told the Daily Caller.

Numbers continued to drop, with a January episode failing to even crack 100,000 viewers in the key demo, the Post reported.

In total, the show’s 14 episodes averaged 459,000 viewers and 106,000 in the key demo, according to the Post. They were totally crushed by time slot competitors, including Fox News’ “Gutfeld!” which raked in more than quadruple the viewership that Barkley’s ratings disaster did.

Barkley‘s jam-packed schedule as an NBA broadcaster apparently made the show difficult to produce and limited them to the once-a-week format, the Post reported. (RELATED: ‘Bunch Of Homeless Crooks’: NBA Hall Of Famer Charles Barkley Shreds Rapidly Declining Democrat-Run City)

CNN maintained that the show was a valuable piece of their programming, calling it “a great addition to CNN’s lineup” and lauding viewership as “the youngest, most affluent, and most diverse” in its time slot, a spokesperson told the Caller.

The pair signed off for their final episode Wednesday, and King left the door open for a possible reunion in the future. “I will say this, I have loved working with you,” King told Barkley. “Something tells me, Charles, this will not be the last – just saying – this will not be the last time that we’re working together.”

“Call me, Gayle,” Barkley concluded.

Editor’s note: The headline has been updated to reflect that Barkley’s show was not cancelled due to poor ratings. The article has also been updated to include comment from a CNN spokesperson.