According to live-plus-same-day data from Nielsen, The Five averaged the most total viewers of any cable news show during the opening quarter of 2022, marking back-to-back quarters at No. 1. That’s no small feat for a show that airs at 5 p.m. ET.
Cable news’ most-watched show hauled in an average of 3.68 million total viewers per original broadcast in Q1. That’s growth from Q4 2021, when Fox’s 5 p.m. panel talk news program averaged roughly 3.2 million total viewers.
Tucker Carlson Tonight took second place, averaging 3.62 million total viewers in Q1. Jesse Watters Primetime (3.12 million) moved past Hannity (3.06 million) and into 3rd place in total viewers. Special Report with Bret Baier rounds out the top five in average total viewers (2.72 million)
The 10-most-watched shows of the quarter were all Fox News shows. MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show (which featured guest hosts for much of the quarter) came in at No. 11, averaging 1.84 million viewers at 9 p.m.
Anderson Cooper 360 was CNN’s most-watched show in Q1, averaging 1.015 million total viewers at 8 p.m. (No. 22 overall).
Here’s the 10-most-watched on cable news for Q1, as per live-plus-same-day Nielsen data.
- 5 p.m. / The Five: 3,676,000 / 60 telecasts
- 8 p.m. / Tucker Carlson Tonight: 3,617,000 / 58 telecasts
- 7 p.m./ Jesse Watters Primetime: 3,124,000 / 44 telecasts
- 9 p.m. / Hannity / 3,057,000 / 56 telecasts
- 6 p.m. / Special Report with Bret Baier: 2,720,000 / 60 telecasts
- 10 p.m. / The Ingraham Angle: 2,411,000 / 55 telecasts
- 12 p.m. / Outnumbered: 1,994,000 / 59 telecasts
- 11 p.m. Gutfeld!: 1,952,000 / 47 telecasts
- 9-10 a.m., 10-11 a.m. / America’s Newsroom: 1,925,000 / 120 telecasts
- 11 a.m./ The Faulkner Focus: 1,907,000 / 60 telecasts
Below, the full cable news show ranker sorted by average total viewers:
How about the top cable news shows among adults 25-54? After all, this is a demographic that advertisers of news often focus their millions on.
Fox News is home to the top 14 shows in the key demo for Q1, led by Tucker Carlson Tonight (626,000). The top 10 cable news shows among adults 25-54 for the quarter are the same as the top 10 show in total viewers, with a few differences in order. Tucker Carlson Tonight is No. 1 in the demo, but No. 2 in total viewers; The Five is No. 2 in the demo, but No. 1 in total viewers; Gutfeld! is No. 7 in the demo, but No. 8 in total viewers; Outnumbered is No. 8 in the demo, but No. 7 in total viewers.
AC360 was CNN’s top show not only in total viewers but also in adults 25-54, averaging 279,000 viewers from the demo at 8 p.m. That’s No. 15 across cable news.
MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show was MSNBC’s top-rated show in the demo, averaging 234,000 adults 25-54 (No. 18 across cable news).
Again, this is Nielsen live-plus-same-day data:
- 8 p.m. / Tucker Carlson Tonight: 626,000 / 58 telecasts
- 5 p.m. / The Five: 554,000 / 60 telecasts
- 7 p.m./ Jesse Watters Primetime: 522,000 / 44 telecasts
- 9 p.m. / Hannity / 513,000 / 56 telecasts
- 6 p.m. / Special Report with Bret Baier: 444,000 / 60 telecasts
- 10 p.m. / The Ingraham Angle: 433,000 / 55 telecasts
- 11 p.m. Gutfeld!: 346,000 / 47 telecasts
- 12 p.m. / Outnumbered: 335,000 / 59 telecasts
- 9-10 a.m., 10-11 a.m. / America’s Newsroom: 318,000 / 120 telecasts
- 11 a.m./ The Faulkner Focus: 315,000 / 60 telecasts
When it comes to the key hours, Fox News won all of them. CNN and MSNBC split second place at 7 p.m., 8 p.m., 10 and 11 p.m. MSNBC beat CNN across the board at 9 p.m., despite Maddow’s hiatus for a chunk of the quarter.
Additionally, Fox & Friends swept its morning competition (New Day, Morning Joe) in the key categories.
Below, the Q1 cable news program ranker sorted by number of adults 25-54 watching: