CNN’s ‘Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown’ Debuts Strong

Badboy chef Anthony Bourdain’s new CNN series Parts Unknown was watched by 747,000 viewers last night. The heavily promoted 9 PM Sunday debut of the weekly one-hour show garnered 282,000 viewers in the key 25-54 demographic for the network. Compared to year to date Sunday averages for CNN that is a 120% increase among the demo and a 62% rise in total viewers. Parts Unknown‘s debut pushed the often ratings challenged CNN to the top primetime spot in the demo on Sunday with 208,000 for the night. That’s ahead of rivals Fox News Channel (141,000 among the 25-54) and MSNBC (160,000 among the 25-54). In terms of total viewership, Parts Unknown was behind the 1.32 million FNC garnered for the special Fox News Reporting: Your Secret’s Out but ahead of the 405,000 MSNBC’s programming got in the time slot. The first episode of the new CNN show saw Bourdain spending time in Myanmar mixing food, politics and culture. Future shows will include visits to LA’s Koreatown, a place Bourdain has been before on other networks, as well as Libya, Canada and Peru. Sunday’s premiere came after a week that saw Bourdain appearing on almost every other show on the Jeff Zucker-run cable news network hyping the new series. Bourdain also got face time as one of CNN’s stars in a full page ad taken out in the New York Times and other publications on April 8 in an attempt by the ratings struggling network to “reintroduce ourselves.” The move to CNN by Bourdain, which was announced last May, comes after several seasons of the Emmy-winning host’s No Reservations series on the Travel Channel and just over a month after he wrapped up his stint as a judge on the low-rated reality show The Taste for ABC.

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