April 19 Sunday Show Ratings: Meet the Press, Face the Nation Split First Place, Despite Week-to-Week Viewership Losses

By A.J. Katz 

Meet the Press and Face the Nation split the Sunday show ratings race yet again, with the NBC program averaging the most A25-54 demo viewers and the CBS program averaging the most viewers overall on April 19.

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

However, both shows, as well as their ABC and Fox counterparts, lost a significant number of Adults 25-54 from the prior Sunday, which was Easter Sunday. This week-to-week drop-off has become a trend since the stay-at-home guidelines began in mid-March.

Compared to the prior Sunday (April 12, 2020), Face the Nation With Margaret Brennan, the most-watched Sunday political program for the past four weeks now, was just -1% in Total Viewers but -12% in A25-54 viewers. Meet the Press With Chuck Todd was No. 1 on Sunday in A25-54, per usual. However, the broadcast was -19% in that category from the prior Sunday and -4% in Total Viewers. ABC’s This Week With George Stephanopoulos, which finished in third this past Sunday, was -16% in Total Viewers and -29% in the demo. Fox News Sunday With Chris Wallace was -20% in Total Viewers and -22% in A25-54 viewers.

That said, the shows are still performing quite well relative to 2019. Compared to the same Sunday in 2019 (April 21, 2019), Meet the Press was +20% in Total Viewers and +10% in the key demo. Face the Nation was +42% in Total Viewers and +22% in Adults 25-54. This Week was +2% in Total Viewers and +2% in the demo, while Fox News Sunday was +17% in Total Viewers and +22% in the demo.

The April 19 Nielsen numbers for the original broadcast:

Network Program Total Viewers A25-54
CBS Face the Nation (1/2 hr) 4,301,000 855,000
NBC Meet the Press 4,067,000 893,000
ABC This Week 3,339,000 673,000
FOX Fox News Sunday 1,542,000 443,000

Source: The Nielsen Company, NTI (Total Viewers and Adults 25-54); Live + SD for 4/19/20, 4/12/20 and 4/21/19 or as dated.  Most Current: 2019 -2020 Season (9/23/19 – 4/19/20) and 2018 -2019 Season (9/24/19 – 4/21/19).  Most Averages based on regular telecasts. 

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