When word got out that jurors had reached a verdict in Jerry Sandusky’s trial Friday night, the cable networks went into breaking news mode. Shepard Smith interrupted “Hannity” just after 9:30pmET; Anderson Cooper took over for Piers Morgan (who’d just finished an interview with fake news anchor Will McAvoy) around the same time. Ed Schultz picked up coverage on MSNBC and Nancy Grace broke in on HLN at 9:48.
News of the verdict was first reported at 10:10pmET. From 9:30-11:15pm, FNC beat CNN, MSNBC and HLN combined in total viewers. Here are the numbers for the 10pmET hour:
FNC CNN MSNBC HLN Total Viewers 2,369,000 1,289,000 774,000 400,000 A25-54 577,000 536,000 232,000 159,000
In other Friday night ratings news, in head-to-head competition, “Dateline NBC” topped ABC’s “20/20″ from 9-11pmET/PT. “Dateline” averaged 5.6 million total viewers to “20/20’s” 4.87 million. Dateline, the #1 show of the night, won in the A18-49 rating as well (1.3 vs. 1.2).