Maddow Number One Cable News Program Friday, MSNBC Leads Primetime In Demo

Both Hannity and Tucker Carlson took the night off, helping MSNBC gain the rare victory over Fox News.

We are deep in the dog days of summer and a number of your favorite cable news personalities are using the time to take vacations and long weekends. Last Friday offered up a key example of this as Fox News’ two biggest stars — Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity — took the evening off. This resulted in MSNBC pulling out a rare win in primetime as the network was number one in the key 25-54 demographic.

According to Nielsen, MSNBC averaged 365,000 in the key demo and 1.927 million total viewers during the 8 PM to 11 PM primetime hours. Fox News pulled in 2.034 million viewers overall and 311,000 in the demographic. CNN attracted a demo audience of 260,000 and 861,000 total viewers.

In total day, Fox News led in both total viewers (1.306 million) and the key demo (243,000). CNN came in second with 197,000 demo viewers while drawing a total audience of 659,000. MSNBC averaged 1.049 million viewers overall and 188,000 in the demographic.

MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show was the most-watched show in cable news on Friday in both total viewership (2.511 million) and the demo (484,000). Placing second in the demographic was Fox News’ The Five, which drew 369,000 in the 25-54 metric while finishing third in total viewers (2.065 million).

With Hannity out, the special version of his 9 PM program — guest-hosted by Jeanine Pirro — took second place with 2.260 million viewers overall and sixth in the demographic (318,000). MSNBC’s All In with Chris Hayes placed third in the key demo with 324,000.

The Ingraham Angle, the only Fox News primetime show with its regular host at the desk, won its timeslot in the demo (296,000) and total viewership (1.909 million) but only placed tenth overall in the 25-54 demo. Laura Ingraham has come under fire recently for her Wednesday night monologue in which she cited “massive demographic changes” due to immigration as making it seem like the “America we know and love doesn’t exist anymore.” It remains to be seen if Friday night’s low demo number was a blip caused by Hannity and Tucker being off or if this a sign of things to come.

The top-rated show on CNN was Anderson Cooper 360, which drew 920,000 viewers overall. Cuomo Prime Time led in the demo with 275,000.

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Justin Baragona is the founder and publisher of Contemptor. He was previously the Cable News Correspondent for Mediaite and prior to starting Contemptor, he worked on the editorial staff of PoliticusUSA. During that time, he had his work quoted by USA Today and BBC News, among others. Justin began his published career as a political writer for 411Mania. He resides in St. Louis, MO with his wife and pets.
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