Fox News Channel was the big winner in cable news on Wednesday night, beating CNN’s and MSNBC’s combined average primetime viewership on a night when CNN hosted a Town Hall special with Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., and Fox News' Sean Hannity interviewed President Donald Trump.
According to Nielsen’s early ratings, across the 8 pm-11 pm primetime slots, Fox News Channel averaged 3,685,000 viewers, including 653,000 in the prized 25-54 age-group demographic. MSNBC delivered an average of 2,141,000 viewers and 333,000 in the 24-54 demo, while CNN came in last with 904,000 average prime-time viewers, with 235,000 in the demo.
Additionally, every primetime program from 8-11 pm was up double-digits versus the same day last week and year-to-date average, while CNN and MSNBC suffered double-digit losses.
(Note that when final cable news ratings come out, they will vary slightly from the early ratings which are subject to rounding.)
Each of the Fox News Channel’s primetime shows also boasted impressive wins over their time-slot competition on MSNBC and CNN, besting the other shows’ combined totals in each hour.
In the 8 pm hour, “Tucker Carlson Tonight” drew 3,485,000 total viewers and 584,000 viewers age 25-54. MSNBC’s “All In With Chris Hayes” delivered 1,674,000 and 259,000 age 25-54. CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 660” limped into third with 865,000 watchers and 221,000 age 25-54.
At 9 pm, “Hannity” delivered 4,303,000 viewers and 778,000 in the age 25-54 demographic with his interview of President Trump. MSNBC's “The Rachel Maddow Show” delivered 2,678,000 total viewers with 432,000 in the 25-54 demo. CNN’s “Cuomo Prime Time” drew 900,000 total viewers – less than one-quarter of the viewership of “Hannity” -- with 210,000 watchers age 25-54.
“The Ingraham Angle” dominated the 10 pm hour, despite airing against CNN’s Town Hall special hosted by Don Lemon. “The Ingraham Angle” delivered 3,268,000 total viewers with 596,000 age 25-54, versus 947,000 and 275,000 for the Lemon/Booker sit-down. MSNBC’s “The Last Word With Lawrence O’Donnell” drew 2,069,000 viewers and 308,000 in the demo.
During its much-hyped Town Hall with Booker from 10-11:15 pm, CNN drew 929,000 viewers, while MSNBC’s regularly scheduled programming attracted 2,010,000 watchers. Fox News beat both networks combined with 3,009,000 viewers during the same extended time period.
Fox News has dominated in the ratings since Friday's release of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report and its findings.
Fox News Channel was the most-watched cable network in total day and primetime on Monday. “Hannity” was ranked as the number one cable news show, landing over 4 million total viewers. MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show” ranked second with 2.5 million total viewers and CNN’s “Cuomo Primetime” trailed in third with 911,000.
Primetime shows “Hannity” and “Tucker Carlson Tonight” had more viewers than broadcast network programming on Monday, including CBS News’ Mueller coverage (3 million viewers) and ABC’s “Fix It” (3.9 million viewers).
On Friday, Fox News again topped its competitors, averaging 2.3 million total viewers, while MSNBC had 1.7 million views and CNN had 1 million viewers.