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CNN’s Climate Change Town Hall Gets Good Reviews, Flops in Ratings With a Last Place Finish in Every Hour

CNN’s seven hour climate-themed town hall proved to be a fascinating forum on an important subject which produced a number of compelling moments. And yet you, cable news superfan, most likely didn’t watch it.

According to data from Nielsen, CNN averaged 1,091,000 total viewers during the time period between 5:00 p.m. and midnight ET during which the town hall aired, and 265,000 in the advertiser-coveted adults 25-54 demographic. That landed the network in third place, behind MSNBC (second, with 1.6 million total viewers) and Fox News (first, with 2.4 million total viewers).

While showing a marginal 3 percent increase in average total viewers for the year to date, CNN was down 14 percent and 33 percent respectively from the same day last year, and 8 percent in the demo from the average day. CNN did see a slight increase in primetime total viewers, with 1,374,000 tuning in from 8:00-11:00 ET β€” a 4 percent bump from this year’s total day average. But the 345,000 demo number was off 5 percent from the 2019 average, and 29 percent from the same day last year.

Despite the middling numbers, the event was a critical darling. Outlets from NBC NewsΒ to Vox ran articles praising the forum.

“CNN managed to host seven hours of sustained, substantive, primetime discussion on climate change β€” something that would have been unthinkable even six months ago β€” with very little fat on it,” Vox’s David Roberts wrote. “For as often as the network is criticized for its climate coverage, it deserves enormous credit for this.”

Many blue checks on Twitter also approved:

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Joe DePaolo is a Senior Editor at Mediaite. Email him here: joed@mediaite.com Follow him on Twitter: @joe_depaolo