CNN’s Two New Original Programs Have Strong Debuts

By Brian Flood 

CNN’s two new original series, “Finding Jesus: Faith, Fact, Forgery” and “The Wonder List with Bill Weir,” both debuted last night as the No. 1 cable news programs in their timeslots, among both total viewers and the key A25-43 demo.

“Finding Jesus” dominated at 9pmET, averaging 1.139 million total viewers, +80% more than Fox News’ 634k and a plus +314% over MSNBC’s 275k. In the demo “Finding Jesus” averaged 371k, while Fox News and MSNBC both averaged 111k. Despite the ratings win, some people don’t feel comfortable seeing an actor playing Jesus on CNN.

Weir and CNN Worldwide President Jeff Zucker were excited about “The Wonder List,” in part, because the program is visually arresting.” The debut episode averaged 706K total viewers at 10pmET, while Fox News had 603k and MSNBC trailed with 312k. Weir’s show also won the demo, averaging 294K viewers compared to Fox News’ 148k and MSNBC’s 126k.