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Madi Hart/TikTok Remixed by Passionfruit

Passionfruit newsletter: The TikTok feminism leaving Fox News’ body in the elephant graveyard of cable television

Desperate to claw back viewership from streaming services and social media sites, a proclaimed comedian Madi Hart's dating life befalls Fox News for primetime content.


Drew Grant


Posted on Jan 12, 2024   Updated on Jan 25, 2024, 11:13 am CST


Show of hands: How many of us still have, like, television? I don’t mean the physical object, because this isn’t a poll about whether you own a tv (though that was a fun thing to be mad about in 2014!). Owning a 67″ Samsung OLED 4K flatscreen to binge “Ted Lasso,” “I Think You Should Leave,” or “Jury Duty” isn’t the question here. I just want to get a quick sense of how many of us purchase cable television the old-fashioned way, like God and Travis Kelce intended. 

Because boy, the state of cable TV is grim…unless you happen to be football. On Nielsen’s list of the 100 most-watched programs of 2023, 96 of them were football

Let that sink in. This wasn’t a list of top 100 sports games on TV. It wasn’t Nielsen’s ranking of the most-watched live broadcasts, and it didn’t account for anybody who happened to catch the Kansas City Chiefs play the Eagles at the Super Bowl this year through their Hulu accounts. In a year that featured Donald Trump both running for president and being indicted on 91 felony charges, not one single news show managed to crack the top 100. (Sorry bot, you’ll get ’em next year.)

As for scripted shows, even “Yellowstone” didn’t make the cut. Heck, other sports didn’t make the cut, unless you count college football, which apparently many of you did. (The four other slots last year fell to the Oscars, Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, Joe Biden’s State of the Union, and the lead-out for said Super Bowl, which might make for the most depressing holiday slate of tune-in TV since its invention.)

If you thought Bill Maher was sweating during the writer’s strike, just wait till you get a hold of Jesse Watters, the host of his own self-titled “Primetime” hour, vacated by Tucker Carlson last year. He’s a real “Fox News 10/ MSNBC 4/ IRL -2.” (You have to deduct points for the type of guy whose mere presence at a bar would make you uncomfortable enough to leave it before your friends arrive; he’s not even hitting on or even talking to you, but there’s something about the way he’s been nursing that single Budweiser bottle of beer in a corner booth by himself for the last half hour that’s giving you bad vibes. He’s laughing way too hard at a flurry of texts that are coming in every five seconds, which you know because despite sitting on the opposite side of a very loud space, his notifications are somehow amplified three decibels above all other sounds. Anyway.)…

– Drew GrantManaging Editor

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  • Discord Is Laying Off 17% of Its Workforce
  • MatPat is Just the Latest YouTuber to Retire
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*First Published: Jan 12, 2024, 4:24 pm CST