Is ‘Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown’ Really the Number One Show on Cable News?

By Jordan Chariton Comment

BourdainWe’ve reported on TV news networks engaging in creative license through their advertising, and now CNN seems to be joining the fray.

An “Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown” commercial airing on CNN describes the show as “number one in miles traveled, number one in meals devoured, and now, the number one program in cable news.”

As for the third claim, as always, read the fine print. Bourdain’s just-completed third season, which ran from April 13 to June 8, averaged 386,000 A25-54 viewers over the eight Sunday premiere episodes.

The fine print (not all of it included in the ad) goes on to say that it’s a “blend” of viewer data including Live+7 day, Live+3 day and Live+ same-day viewership, in other words, a variety of DVR viewing. CNN says that’s enough to best even “The O’Reilly Factor,” the long-dominant cable news show, which averaged 356,000 A25-54 demo viewers in that period, using that same “blend.”

We’ll make our fine print, regular-size: O’Reilly’s total is for 37 programs, compared to Bourdain’s eight. And when the Live+ same-day measurement is used “O’Reilly Factor” averaged 344,000 demo viewers; the “The Kelly File” was next with 310,000, then “Parts Unknown” comes in third with 278,000. CNN reports. You decide.