Here Are the Top-Rated Cable News Shows for Q2 2022

By A.J. Katz 

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According to live-plus-same-day data from Nielsen, Fox News’ panel talk program The Five averaged the most total viewers of any cable news show in Q2 2022, marking three consecutive quarters at No. 1. That’s no small feat for a show that airs weekdays at 5 p.m. ET, not in primetime.

Cable news’ most-watched show hauled in an average of 3.30 million total viewers per original broadcast in Q2. Tucker Carlson Tonight took second place, averaging 3.23 million total viewers in Q2, followed by Hannity at 9 p.m. (2.73 million), Jesse Watters Primetime at 7 p.m. (2.69 million) with Special Report with Bret Baier rounding out the top five in average total viewers (2.46 million).

The eight-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. 9. with a 1.8 million total viewer average at 9 p.m.

Anderson Cooper 360 was CNN’s most-watched show in Q2, averaging just 766,000 total viewers at 8 p.m. (No. 26 overall).

Here’s the 10-most-watched on cable news for Q2, as per live-plus-same-day Nielsen data.

  1. Fox News | 5 p.m. / The Five: 3,299,000 / 62 telecasts
  2. Fox News | 8 p.m. / Tucker Carlson Tonight: 3,233,000 / 59 telecasts
  3. Fox News | 9 p.m. / Hannity: 2,726,000 / 55 telecasts
  4. Fox News | 7 p.m./ Jesse Watters Primetime: 2,688,000 / 47 telecasts
  5. Fox News | 6 p.m. / Special Report with Bret Baier: 2,463,000 / 61 telecasts
  6. Fox News | 10 p.m. / The Ingraham Angle: 2,217,000 / 57 telecasts
  7. Fox News | 11 p.m. / Gutfeld!: 1,982,000 / 59 telecasts
  8. Fox News | 12 p.m. / Outnumbered: 1,806,000 / 62 telecasts
  9. MSNBC | 9 p.m. / The Rachel Maddow Show: 1,798,000 / 35 telecasts
  10. Fox News | 9-10 a.m. & 10-11 a.m. / America’s Newsroom: 1,720,000 / 125 telecasts

Below, the full cable news show ranker sorted by average total viewers:

Q2 ’22 (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 15 shows in the key demo for Q2, led by Tucker Carlson Tonight (522,000). 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.

MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show was MSNBC’s top-rated show in the demo, averaging 206,000 adults 25-54 (No. 16 across cable news), while AC360 was CNN’s top show in the adults 25-54, averaging 181,000 viewers from the demo at 8 p.m. (No. 17 across cable news).

Again, this is Nielsen live-plus-same-day data:

  1. Fox News | 8 p.m. / Tucker Carlson Tonight: 522,000 / 59 telecasts
  2. Fox News | 5 p.m. / The Five: 461,000 / 62 telecasts
  3. Fox News | 9 p.m. / Hannity: 421,000 / 55 telecasts
  4. Fox News | 7 p.m./ Jesse Watters Primetime: 374,000 / 47 telecasts
  5. Fox News | 10 p.m. / The Ingraham Angle: 361,000 / 57 telecasts
  6. Fox News | 6 p.m. / Special Report with Bret Baier: 355,000 / 61 telecasts
  7. Fox News | 11 p.m. / Gutfeld!: 344,000 / 59 telecasts
  8. Fox News | 12 p.m. / Outnumbered: 269,000 / 62 telecasts
  9. Fox News | 9-10 a.m. & 10-11 a.m. / America’s Newsroom: 257,000 / 125 telecasts
  10. Fox News | 11 a.m. / The Faulkner Focus: 244,000 / 64 telecasts

When it comes to the key hours, Fox News won all of them both in total viewers and among adults 25-54. 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 cable morning competition (New Day, Morning Joe) in the key categories.

Below, the Q2 cable news program ranker sorted by number of adults 25-54 watching:

Q2 ’22 (Adults 25-54)

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