Bomani Jones Tanks Even Further Week 2 On HBO, Doesn’t Rank On Cable Charts

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The second season of Bomani Jones’ HBO program debuted earlier this month. After losing an unprecedented percentage of his lead-in John Oliver’s ratings in 2022, the network moved “Race Theory” to follow the more-viewed “Real Time with Bill Maher” this season.

The season debuted on Jan. 20 after Maher drew a stellar 799,000 viewers with a 0.10 TV rating. Maher handed Bomani a substantial audience. Yet, he lost 79% — !! — of those viewers, recording just 168,000 with a barely-registering 0.03 rating.

Last Friday, Maher gained on his season debut. “Real Time” recorded 901,000 viewers. Thus, we assumed “Race Theory” would also experience an uptick. That’s often how television works. Viewership gains trickle up. Maher handed Bomani even more viewers with which he could work.

However, even we overestimated the drawing power of one Bomani Jones. Per ShowBuzzDaily, Episode 2 averaged only 155,000 viewers. That’s an unheard-of 83% decline from his lead-in.

Bomani’s run on HBO has been a ratings disaster from the start. And his failures are escalating.

HBO could have aired infomercials — which rank above Jones on weekly cable charts — and maintained more than 17% of Maher’s audience.

Bomani Jones’ schtick includes calling white people racist and declaring all black people victims of a plague called white supremacy.

He spent the past week arguing that anyone who compares Joe Burrow to Patrick Mahomes is doing so on the basis of race. Then, he compared Dak Prescott to Josh Allen, hoping to gain traction for putting a B-level black QB on par with an A-level white QB.

It didn’t work.

That’s about the extent of Bomani’s act. And viewers have rejected him. They continue to reject him. He has failed at every stop, from ESPN Radio to ESPN TV to HBO. He set record lows at each.

Bomani has hosted programs that immediately follow Stephen A. Smith, John Oliver, and Bill Maher — three of the biggest draws in television. Yet, somehow, he has tanked each of their audiences on separate occasions.

At this point, Jones would struggle to draw 200,000 airing directly after “House of the Dragon.”

Don’t scoff at that idea, either. It remains possible for Season 3. No one in television is as privileged as Jones. No one has gotten more opportunities and proven less capable.

“Race Theory” even aired on TNT, a sister station, last Thursday ahead of its NBA doubleheader. Parent company Warner Bros. Discovery had hoped basketball fans who don’t subscribe to HBO would enjoy Jones’ presence and perhaps convert to HBO viewers.

Jones led into the Knicks-Celtics, a matchup that topped cable on Thursday with 1.6 million viewers and a 0.56 TV rating.

So, how did Bomani rank one might ask? He didn’t. His show performed so poorly on TNT that it didn’t chart among the top 150 shows on cable.

A Spanish-language version of “Pawn Stars” outranked Jones with a mere 58,000 viewers.

Bomani’s ratings have been a cancelable offense since Day 1. After all, HBO canceled Bill Simmons’ similarly-formatted show despite averaging double the viewership as Bomani.

But, unlike Simmons and other far more successful hosts, HBO continues to pay Bomani for tanking its nightly lineup.

What’s that other talking point Bomani often spews? White privilege or something?

Written by Bobby Burack

Bobby Burack is a writer for OutKick where he reports and analyzes the latest topics in media, culture, sports, and politics..

Burack has become a prominent voice in media and has been featured on several shows across OutKick and industry related podcasts and radio stations.


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