When the New York Times called The View “the most important political show on television,” that declaration raised a few eyebrows. To start, you had to wonder how a show that takes time to market “Oprah Winfrey’s favorite beauty products” would even qualify.
And a few lines from the Times piece didn’t exactly do the best job of explaining. (“The View has become an influential political talk show because it isn’t one” ranks high on the list of head-scratchers.)
But the Times article did say The View’s reach exceeded the raw numbers of its audience size. Given the show’s ratings in its current incarnation (down from the high-water mark of the Barbara Walters era), it would have to.
Compared to the iconic TV news magazine 60 Minutes, the audience for The View seems small indeed.
’60 Minutes’ has averaged 10.5 million viewers in Fall 2019
Ratings are not a problem at 60 Minutes in 2019. Though the show airs the same time as some NFL games, it has averaged 10.5 million viewers since its 52nd season premiered on September 29. That represents a 4% improvement over the prior season.
The show continues finding an audience for its in-depth look at political issues of the day. A good example would be the November 17 edition that featured Scott Pelley’s report on red-flag gun laws. That show had an audience of 13.2 million viewers.
For a little perspective, the November 17 showing was the biggest TV audience any non-sports program had all week. And it was the No. 3 show of the entire week (sports or not), according to Nielsen ratings.
The best ratings news of all for CBS is the growth 60 Minutes has posted in the coveted 18-49 year-old demographic. While cable-news shows often lag in this department, 60 Minutes is up 18.5% this season with its 1.45 rating.
‘The View’ averages around 3 million viewers per show
Obviously, the stakes are different with a daytime show. The millions who work day jobs wouldn’t have a change to tune in (unless they do so on-demand later). But nonetheless the audience of The View is worlds away from that of a show like 60 Minutes.
According to the most recent data, The View averages an audience of about 3 million viewers. That represents an improvement over the show’s post-Walters slump 92012-15), but it trails the show’s peak in the 2000s significantly. (In those days, The View got close to 4 million viewers per show.)
So the bottom line is The View likely isn’t going anywhere. Considering the average show can spark coverage in everything from gossip pages to a news program to Fox & Friends (a mixture of the two), its reach definitely exceeds the raw data indicating its audience size.
Of course, a useful thing to remember about The View is that it’s an opinion show. No one fact-checks the claims (other than when guests who happen to be armed with the facts). And, as Whoopi Goldberg has pointed out, it’s a day job to those on the air. They’re paid to talk, not to be correct.