Dr. Sanjay Gupta‘s documentary on marijuana, “Weed,” delivered some of CNN’s best (non news-driven) Sunday night ratings in a long time.
“Weed” attracted 1.21 million total viewers and 477,000 adults 25-54 at 8 PM. The numbers are comparable to what Fox News regularly draws during weekend primetime in total viewers, and the demo numbers are significantly higher than what any of the channels typically draw.
It was clear that viewers were tuning in specifically for Gupta’s special. The 7 PM hour on CNN averaged 431,000 total and 139,000 demo viewers, while at 9 PM “Crimes of the Century” fell to 585,000 total and 198,000 demo viewers. In other words, “Weed” tripled its lead-in and lost more than 50% of its viewers after it ended.
The subject matter also probably had something to do with it. Back in 2009 CNBC saw record-breaking ratings with a pot documentary of its own. Clearly weed fans are a loyal bunch.