Week of Nov. 15 Basic Cable Ranker: Fox News Is No. 1 in Total Primetime Viewers; Remains Only Behind ESPN in Primetime Demo

By A.J. Katz 

According to live-plus-same-day data from Nielsen, Fox News Channel averaged 1.78 million total viewers in total day during the week of Nov. 15, making it the most-watched basic cable network in the Monday-Sunday 6 a.m.-6 a.m. time period for the 40th consecutive week. The network also averaged 326,000 adults 25-54 in total day, No. 2 on basic cable only behind ESPN.

Aided by live coverage and analysis of the Kyle Rittenhouse trial,  FNC grew by +19% in average total day viewers and +33% in adults 25-54 from the previous week (Nov. 8). In primetime, Fox News averaged 2.945 million total viewers (No. 1 on basic cable, behind ESPN) and 518,000 adults 25-54 (No. 2 on basic cable, behind ESPN) in the daypart last week. That’s +22% growth in average total viewers and +36% growth among adults 25-54 from what the network averaged in those two measurements the prior week; and with massive ratings for Tucker Carlson‘s interview with Rittenhouse (which aired on Monday), the network will surely see additional audience growth during the week of Nov. 22.

Additionally, Fox News averaged more viewers than CNN and MSNBC combined for the 14th straight week.

On the programming front, The Five earned the status as the most-watched show on cable news for the second consecutive week, averaging 3.89 million viewers and 687,000 adults 25-54 for the week of Nov. 15. Tucker Carlson Tonight remained No. 2 in average total viewers (3.82 million) and finished No. 1 on cable news among adults 25-54 (728,000). Hannity finished third in average total viewers (3.345 million) followed by Special Report with Bret Baier (3.09 million), and Fox News Primetime (2.81 million) rounding out the top 5 in average total viewers. Fox News had the 10 most-watched cable news shows last week and the top 15 among adults 25-54. MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show fell from No. 7 to No. 11 on cable news in average total viewers (2.06 million). MSNBC’s powerhouse program actually posted week-to-week growth in total viewers, but Fox News programming gained even more viewers from the prior week.

The aforementioned MSNBC averaged 1.22 million total primetime viewers (No. 4 on basic cable) and 141,000 adults 25-54 in prime time (No. 29 on basic cable) this past week. That’s +5% growth in average total viewers and +2% in the key A25-54 demo from what the network drew in prime the previous week. MSNBC also averaged 746,000 total viewers in the 6 a.m.-6 a.m. total day daypart (No. 4 overall) and 87,000 adults 25-54 (No. 23 overall) this past week. That’s +9% in total viewers and +13% in the A25-54 demo from the previous week.

MSNBC beat CNN in average total viewers but came up short when it came to adults 25-54 in primetime and total day.

Speaking of CNN, the network averaged 719,000 total viewers in prime time (No. 11 on basic cable) and 549,000 in total day (No. 5 on basic cable) during the week of Nov. 15. And when it came to adults 25-54, the network averaged 157,000 in primetime (No. 25 ) and 118,000 in total day (No. 12 on basic cable). CNN saw growth of +14% in average total primetime viewers and +11% in the primetime demo from the previous week. With help from live coverage and analysis of the Rittenhouse trial, the network also gained +14% in total day viewers and +10% in the total day demo from the network’s average the previous week.

CNN managed to average more adults 25-54 than MSNBC across the key dayparts. However, it averaged fewer total viewers than MSNBC.

All in all, a better ratings week for the major cable newsers, with Fox leading the way yet again.

Week of Nov. 15, 2021 cable news ratings, Monday-Sunday (Nielsen live-same-day data):

TOTAL DAY Fox News MSNBC CNN
• Total Viewers: 1,784,000 746,000 549,000
• A25-54: 326,000 87,000 118,000

 

 

 

PRIME Fox News MSNBC CNN
• Total Viewers: 2,945,000 1,217,000 719,000
• A25-54: 518,000 141,000 157,000

 

 

 

Below, the most-watched basic cable networks for the week. The left column is ranked by most to fewest average total primetime viewers, and the right column is ranked by most to fewest average total viewers across total day (6 a.m-6 a.m.).

Week of Nov. 15 (Total Viewers) 

Here’s a second cable network ranker, sorted by most to fewest adults 25-54. The left column is primetime, the right is total day.

Week of Nov. 15 (Adults 25-54)

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