Alec Baldwin's Talk-Show Opens to Low Ratings — Can it Survive?

Meaghan Darwish
ABC/Heidi Gutman

Alec Baldwin has made plenty of headlines over the years, so a talk show featuring the actor would presumably draw in a number of viewers. But that doesn't seem to be the case for his new series The Alec Baldwin Show.

The Sunday night talk-show airing debuted October 14 on ABC with guests Robert De Niro and Taraji P. Henson — both big names themselves — and only 2.2 million viewers watched, according to Entertainment Weekly. With a mere 0.4 rating in the adults 18-49 demographic, The Alec Baldwin Show was among the lowest-rated shows on television for Sunday evening.

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It serves as a bit of a shock, considering the popularity of Baldwin's Saturday Night Live Donald Trump impression, which he reprised just this past weekend in a skit centered around Kanye West's recent visit to the White House. The show's format would bring to mind that of David Letterman's My Next Guest Needs No Introduction as Baldwin and his guests take time for a one-on-one chat.

With a format that has worked for a streaming service like Netflix, can Baldwin's network show survive on a standard broadcast network? It's a little too early to say that it won't succeed; as more notoriety builds, viewership is likely to go up rather than down.

THE ALEC BALDWIN SHOW - Golden Globe® and Emmy® Award-winning actor Alec Baldwin stars in a brand-new, prime-time talk show bringing his unfiltered, provocative interview style to television with “The Alec Baldwin Show,” premiering SUNDAY, OCT. 14 (10:01–11:00 p.m. EDT), on The ABC Television Network, streaming and on demand. On SUNDAY, OCT. 14 (10:01–11:00 p.m. EDT), the series premieres with a conversation with acting legend, successful businessman and native New Yorker, Robert De Niro. Next up is Taraji P. Henson, the determined actress talks to Alec about fighting for her career, being a mom, her upcoming first marriage and the role that brought her back to television. (ABC/Heidi Gutman) TARAJI P. HENSON, ALEC BALDWIN

Taraji P. Henson and Baldwin

With more high-profile guests like Kim Kardashian on the slate, a spike may be on the horizon, and it's just up to viewers to tune in (or not).

The Alec Baldwin Show, Sundays, 10/9c, ABC