Charles Barkley Signs Off on CNN Program: 'Call Me, Gayle'

Ex-NBA star, Gayle King end their 'King Charles' talk show
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 16, 2024 12:50 PM CDT

The reign of King Charles has come to an end, less than five months after it began. Not the UK monarch, but the weekly CNN talk show hosted by former NBA great Charles Barkley and TV personality and Oprah bestie Gayle King, which saw the pair sign off for good last week, reports the Hill. "King Charles has come to the end of its limited run as we announced when it launched last fall and was a great addition to CNN's lineup, with the youngest, most affluent, and most diverse ... audience in its cable news time period," the company said Monday.

A CNN rep explains the "limited" part of that statement, noting that the series always had an end date set for spring of 2024, per The Hollywood Reporter. The prime-time program, which aired Wednesdays at 10pm ET, covered myriad topics in the arena of politics, sports, music, and TV, among others. The show was dreamed up by former CNN CEO Chris Licht, who left the network last June after a little more than a year at its helm. CNN noted that about a half-million people on average watched King Charles, reports the Wall Street Journal.

But since the show's November debut, viewership fell 20%, per the New York Post, which notes the program was deemed to be "the lowest-rated prime time weeknight series debut for CNN in at least a decade," drawing fewer viewers than Friends and South Park reruns. It also lagged behind its competition in the same time slot on Fox News and MSNBC—Gutfeld! and The Last Word With Lawrence O'Donnell, respectively. Barkley's hectic schedule was cited as a factor in the show's struggles, an industry source tells the Post. "I have loved working with you, and something tells me, Charles, this will not be the last time," King noted in their last broadcast, per THR. Barkley's reply: "Call me, Gayle." (More CNN stories.)

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