Last week kicked off with a ratings bang, as MSNBC topped Fox News Channel Monday and Tuesday in primetime in the key news demo of adults 25-54. Now, with the ratings for Wednesday-Friday in, we can report that Fox News won the week overall in both total and demo viewers, though one (two, if you get creative) of MSNBC’s primetime programs beat their Fox News counterparts in the demo.
For Monday-Friday in primetime, FNC averaged 509,000 demo viewers and 2.540 million total viewers, while MSNBC averaged 489,000 demo viewers and 1.587 million total viewers.
That said, at 9 PM Rachel Maddow (567,000 viewers) topped rival Sean Hannity (500,000 viewers) in the demo, the first time MSNBC beat Fox News in that time period since 2008, and the first since Hannity went solo on the nightly program. At 10 PM, “The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell” (508,000 viewers) would have topped “On the Record with Greta Van Susteren” (427,000 viewers) in the demo, if you compare his four-day week to her five day week. If you look at just Monday-Thursday, Van Susteren remained the demo leader, albeit barely. “The Last Word” was preempted on Friday for a rerun of “SNL Weekend Update Thursday.” “The Last Word” does not usually air on Friday nights.
The strong performance by Bill O’Reilly at 8 PM helped Fox News remain number one for the week in the demo.