There was a lot of drinking last night on the Kitchen Confidential author’s latest season premiere on CNN, and today brought a bit of a ratings reality check both for Anthony Bourdain and his lead-out about pothead profit seekers. With a trip to South Korea as its Season 5 opener, Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown snagged 575,000 total viewers with 301,000 among the news demo of adults 25-54 at 9PM. While down 34% in total viewers from the audience that time-slot rival Fox News Channel’s Legends & Lies: The Real West pulled in, Parts Unknown‘s “Korea” topped the episode on James Hickok by 77% among the 25-54 demo.
Compared with the Season 3 April 13 debut of Bourdain’s show on the cable news network, the Season 5 premiere dipped 7% in the demo and 21% in total viewers. That trip to the Punjab was the best season debut in the demo that Parts Unknown has posted. However, compared with the Season 4 premiere of September 28, last night’s S5 debut bopped up in total viewers by 6%. In the 25-54 demo, however, things were really cooking with a 37% rise from the 219,000 that watched the S4 debut last fall. With those numbers, last night’s ABPU was the second-best demo premiere for the CNN show.
Most of the Jeff Zucker-run news net’s Sunday was all Bourdain with the ABPU S5 debut plus preceding encores and a S4 Prime Cuts special. But drinking wasn’t the only vice being indulged last night. Following the ABPU S5 debut, the second week of CNN’s High Profits was on at 10 PM. The show got 345,000 total viewers and 184,000 among adults 24-54. While tops in its time slot last night, that’s a 35% demo drop from last week for the eight-part docuseries about a business-oriented couple trying to franchise marijuana sales. Last week’s high might have had something to do with its lead-in. The munchies of the April 19 debut of High Profits came after the broadcast of the Sanjay Gupta-hosted Weed 3: The Marijuana Revolution. In total viewers, last night’s High Profits fell 46% from last week.