You know things aren’t going to plan, when just over two weeks into your new television presenting role, you’re forced to defend your ratings, comparing yourself to others in the process. Alas, this is what Piers Morgan was forced to do on Wednesday evening, as he posted a Tweet insisting that it was “still very early days, but the show is already gaining real traction around the world…”
It’s just over a year ago since Piers left his role as co-host of ITV’s Good Morning Britain, following a famous walk off set when he was accused of being unnecessarily volatile towards Meghan Markle. In the time that has passed, the former News of the World and Daily Mirror editor has been writing columns for The Sun. Morgan has had a chequered history with television projects; he was a judge on both America’s and Britain’s Got Talent, he famously took the primetime CNN talk show slot in 2011 following the retirement of the legendary Larry King – a programme which was cancelled after just three seasons, and most recently he spent five years at the helm of Good Morning Britain before his sudden departure. Morgan was hotly tipped to join the fledgling GB News channel following their launch in June 2021, however a move never came to fruition. Instead, at the launch of NewsCorp’s new Talk TV channel in March, it was announced that Piers would front Piers Morgan Uncensored, a one-hour primetime nightly talk show, featuring guests, interviews and presenter opinion.
The first episode of Piers Morgan Uncensored garnered a respectable 316,800 viewers during its launch programme; a one-to-one interview with former US President Donald Trump. However The Telegraph reported afterwards that the show suffered an 80% drop in ratings in less than a week after the first episode, averaging 61,700 viewers by the end of that first week. At one point, the new TV network was actually rated as having zero viewers for some of its primetime broadcasts.
So what does the future hold for Piers Morgan Uncensored and Talk TV as a whole? Only time will tell. But – the forecast may not be so rosy. Competing against the likes of the long-established Sky News and the public broadcasting news service BBC News would have already been a tough enough task for Rupert Murdoch’s latest TV venture, but GB News is also on the airwaves, as the network featuring a number of outspoken hosts, guests and controversial segments prepares to celebrate its first birthday on-air, having established a respectable audience in that period. One thing is for certain though, Morgan is sure to be as outspoken and as controversial as ever in the period ahead, to try and win some much-needed viewers.
Piers Morgan Uncensored airs on Talk TV, Sky Channel 526, weeknights at 8pm.