April 12 Sunday Show Ratings: Face the Nation and Meet the Press Split First-Place Honors

By A.J. Katz 

Meet the Press and Face the Nation split the Sunday show ratings race on April 12, Easter Sunday, with NBC averaging the most A25-54 demo viewers and CBS averaging the most viewers overall.

This is according to live-plus-same-day data from Nielsen.

While the Sunday shows continue to average significantly more viewers than at the same point in 2019, ABC, NBC and CBS have lost viewers on a week-to-week basis over the past few weeks as the COVID-19 pandemic spreads and state stay-at-home orders continue.


Compared to the prior Sunday (April 5, 2020), Face the Nation With Margaret Brennan, the most-watched Sunday political program for the past three weeks, was -13% in Total Viewers and -12% in A25-54 viewers. Meet the Press With Chuck Todd, per usual No. 1 on Sundays in the A25-54 demo, was -6% in that category and -5% in Total Viewers. ABC’s This Week With George Stephanopoulos, which finished in third this past Sunday, was -5% in Total Viewers, and -12% in the demo. Fox News Sunday With Chris Wallace was -6% in Total Viewers and -9% in A25-54 viewers.

Perhaps this drop can be attributed to April 12 being Easter Sunday, or perhaps there’s something else at play here. We’ll continue to keep an eye on week-to-week performance going forward.

On a more positive note, compared to the same Sunday in 2019 (April 14, 2019), Meet the Press was +26% in Total Viewers and +37% in the key demo. This Week was +46% in Total Viewers and +48% in the demo, while Fox News Sunday was +37% in Total Viewers and +39% in the demo. Face the Nation was preempted by The Masters on that Sunday in 2019.

The first-run Nielsen numbers for April 12, 2020:

Network Program Total Viewers A25-54
CBS Face the Nation (1/2 hr) 4,366,000 968,000
NBC Meet the Press 4,227,000 1,103,000
ABC This Week 3,961,000 948,000
FOX Fox News Sunday 1,928,000 570,000

Source: The Nielsen Company, NTI (Total Viewers and Adults 25-54); Live + SD for 4/12/20, 4/5/20 and 4/12/19 or as dated.  Most Current: 2019 -2020 Season (9/23/19 – 4/12/20) and 2018 -2019 Season (9/24/19 – 4/14/19).  Most Averages based on regular telecasts.