February 2020 is the most-watched month ever in prime time for Fox News Channel, and each of its prime time shows delivered program-high audiences.
For the 12th month in a row, Sean Hannity had the most-watched show on cable news (4.3 million viewers on average). Hannity was also No. 1 in February among Adults 25-54.
Tucker Carlson Tonight was the No. 2 cable news show of the month in the relevant measurements of Total Viewers and Adults 25-54, according to live-plus-same-day data from Nielsen.
In MSNBC’s press release, however, the network claims that Rachel Maddow had the No. 2 cable news show of the month in Total Viewers for the 12th month in a row, and No. 3 show in the A25-54 demo. The network says it has in the Nielsen data to prove it.
We’ll let the networks argue amongst themselves about that.
According to live-plus-same-day data from Nielsen, Fox News had 9 of the top 10 cable news shows of the month among Total Viewers and Adults 25-54, while MSNBC had the other one, Maddow.
Laura Ingraham, and the Five had solid ratings month, as did The Story with Martha MacCallum, and Special Report with Bret Baier. The network’s chief political anchor delivered 3 million viewers (+25%) and 521,000 (+35%) in the 25-54 demo in February during his 6 p.m. hour.
MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell had the No. 2 show on his network in Total Viewers, followed by Brian Williams (The 11th Hour), Chris Hayes (All In), Ari Melber (The Beat), and Nicolle Wallace (Deadline: White House).
Anderson Cooper had CNN’s No. 1 show for February (AC360). In Total Viewers, Erin Burnett is No. 2 (Outfront), followed by Wolf Blitzer (The Situation Room), Chris Cuomo (Cuomo Prime Time), and Jake Tapper (The Lead).
Here are the top 10 cable news shows for February 2020:
Network/Show/Total Viewers / # of telecasts / vs. Feb. 2019
- Fox News/Hannity/ 4,304,000 / 18 / +36%
- FNC/Tucker Carlson Tonight / 4,115,000 / 19 / +33%
- FNC/The Ingraham Angle / 3,648,000 / 18 / +47%
- FNC/The Five / 3,562,000 / 20 / +34%
- FNC/Special Report with Bret Baier / 2,957,000 / 17 / +25%
- FNC/The Story with Martha MacCallum / 2,732,000 / 17 / +35%
- MSNBC/The Rachel Maddow Show / 2,636,000 / 12 / -14%
- FNC/Your World with Neil Cavuto / 2,199,000 / 19 / +42%
- FNC/Outnumbered / 2,177,000 / 20 / +32%
- FNC/Bill Hemmer Reports / 2,103,000 / 20 / +46% (vs. Shepard Smith Reporting)
Each Fox News show in the top 10 posted double digit percentage growth from the prior February. The Ingraham Angle showed the most year-over-year growth of the shows that existed in Feb. 2019 (+47% in Total Viewers). TRMS, on the other hand, was -14% in Total Viewers from the prior February.
Bill Hemmer Reports, which didn’t exist last February, was actually +46% in Total Viewers vs. the preceding Fox News 3 p.m. show.
Your World, and Outnumbered were not in the Total Viewers top 10 last February.
Network/Show/Adults 25-54 / # of telecasts / vs. Feb. 2019
- Fox News/Hannity/737,000/18 / +28%
- FNC/Tucker Carlson Tonight/722,000/19/ +32%
- FNC/The Ingraham Angle/620,000/18 / +35%
- FNC/The Five/585,000/20 / +41%
- FNC/Special Report with Bret Baier/521,000/17 / +35%
- FNC/The Story with Martha MacCallum/512,000/17 / +43%
- MSNBC/The Rachel Maddow Show/413,000/12 / -25%
- FNC/Fox News @ Night with Shannon Bream/407,000/21 / +39%
- FNC/Fox & Friends/350,000/60 / +19%
- FNC/Your World with Neil Cavuto/348,000/19 / +39%
The Story with Martha MacCallum showed the most significant year-over-year growth in the demo (+43%). TRMS was -25% from the prior February.
Your World, Fox News @ Night, and Fox & Friends were not in the Adults 25-54 top 10 last February.