Trump Show May Be Nearing Cancellation

How will we know if the Trump TV show is coming to a close? Ratings are down? Viewer engagement is lower? No one is developing a spin-off? 

TV shows -- like some TV politicians -- can get grumpy. Viewers can tire of the act. We know this from older TV shows that can’t deliver more interesting story lines.

No doubt, Trump will continue to try. Throwing out a bag full of loaded, often coded words -- in some sort of order -- will just exponentially grow. He's good at changing the conversation — even in mid-sentence.

Approval and presidential polls don’t tell the whole story. (As of June 23, Trump is now at 41% (approval) and 41.7% (presidential), respectively, according to

It’s a bit more complicated beyond the weak 6,200 people in live attendance at the Tulsa rally. Fox News Channel may have a different take.

On Saturday night, the Trump rally pulled a record 6.7 million Nielsen-measured prime-time viewers on the Fox network -- the best ever for it on Saturday night.



Sounds good? Before you say -- “Well, this means people aren’t tiring of Trump” -- think about this.

Fox’s two main competitors, MSNBC and CNN, also scored very high Saturday night Nielsen-measured viewing -- 2.1 million and 2.0 million viewers, respectively -- well above their Saturday night averages. What does that tell you? 

We know the political leanings of Fox News Channel, MSNBC and CNN. So not all viewers were necessarily watching the rally approvingly -- many wanting to gawk at a possible accident scene, complete with fighting drivers' words, bent metal and smoking engines.

One recent TV commercial had the Trump campaign blaming Joe Biden for the lost of U.S. manufacturing jobs — all of this to target key industrial states like Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania. He claimed Biden cozied up to China.

That didn’t seem to take. Because at the same time, former National Security Advisor John Bolton, in his new book, revealed Trump had been pleading with China to help him win the next election. And in order to do that, Trump needed China to buy more soybeans from the U.S. to grab the support of farmers.

Let’s move to what might be the final climax-building possible ending in Trump TV terms:

*Trump leaving the White House in January, walking out to a waiting helicopter, hair flapping in the wind, with a departing bag of head-scratching phrases, including the word “lawsuit.”

*Winning the election with a victory dance in the end zone of NFL’s Washington Redskins' field. And then retiring with a stream of tweets, complete with violation tags from Twitter.

*Or, even more TV-worthy, losing the election, but not actually leaving the While House come mid-January. No tweets here. Just driving a bunch of golf balls off the White House lawn.

There’s your spin-off! Any media buyers?

Maybe My Pillow -- which buys a lot of TV commercials on the Fox News Channel -- might consider this. Why? Because after all the hyperbole, we’ll need a good night sleep.

6 comments about "Trump Show May Be Nearing Cancellation".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, June 24, 2020 at 10:07 a.m.

    Wayne, that 6.7million  average commercial minute "audience" that Nielsen credited Trump with  represents a mere 2% of the population. Even though more people tunied in at some time during the "show", still, we are talking about 3%, maybe. Hardly a huge audience. And something like 75% of the viewers were older folks.

  2. Jay Goldstein from Independent, June 24, 2020 at 10:54 a.m.

    Even a top rated sitcom runs out of steam, and the plot lines here are getting repetitive:
    "Lock her up" 
    "Big Blue hoax" 
    "Everyone out to get me" 
    "they are coming to get you" 
    "Left wing monsters and boogeymen" 

    Needs some new material.

  3. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, June 24, 2020 at 12:55 p.m.

    Jay, as I point out in my book, "TV Now & Then", the key for most sitcoms is maintaining and feeding of their core "situation---or combos of "situations" ---as decided upon for a given season. The "situation" and the perceived personnas of the principal characters is what makes people tune in on a regular basis, not so much the individual story lines and guest stars. One of Trump's primary problems is lack of consistency---you never know what may happen next, who's in charge, who's not, what the policy is---or isn't, etc. And, far too often, there is a complete contradiction from one day to the next or, often, on the same day. That's a great way to lose viewers---and, maybe, voters.

  4. Jay Goldstein from Independent replied, June 24, 2020 at 1:06 p.m.

    Finger crossed!

  5. Pat Dunbar from DiMAS Group, June 24, 2020 at 2:26 p.m.

    You hit the nail on the head "Because after all the hyperbole, we’ll need a good night sleep." Great analysis and a fun read. Ed's comments on relative size of audiende is a good one, especially the older folks comment - who knows with COVID, being somewhat flip - and that number is likely to decrease by November.

  6. David Scardino from TV & Film Content Development, June 25, 2020 at 3:24 p.m.

    Wayne: From your lips to God's ear...!

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