Here Are the Top-Rated Cable News Shows of Q2 2023

By A.J. Katz 

New quarter, similar result: The Five marked its seventh consecutive quarter as the most-watched daily cable news program.

According to live-plus-same-day data from Nielsen for the second quarter of 2023, the 5 p.m. news talk panel show program averaged 2.78 million total viewers per original broadcast.

With Tucker Carlson Tonight permanently off the air as of April 24, Jesse Watters Primetime rose to the No. 2 spot, averaging 2.29 million viewers at 7 p.m. (he moves into Carlson’s former 8 p.m. hour next month). Watters edges Hannity in total viewers, with the network vet having averaged 2.24 million viewers at 9 p.m. Hannity is followed by Special Report with Bret Baier (1.97 million at 6 p.m.) and The Ingraham Angle (1.79 million at 10 p.m.) rounding out the top five in average total viewers.

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Fox News had the seven most-watched cable news shows in Q2 after back-to-back quarters having the 13 most watched. MSNBC’s The Last Word With Lawrence O’Donnell came in at No. 8 (1.57 million at 10 p.m.), edged by Carlson’s interim 8 p.m. replacement show Fox News Tonight (1.6 million). Deadline: White House with Nicolle Wallace (1.525 million from 4-6 p.m.) edging The Beat With Ari Melber (1.52 million at 6 p.m.) to round out cable news 10 most-watched for Q2 2023.

*If you take both 8 p.m. Fox News shows in Q2 –Tucker Carlson Tonight and Fox News Tonight–into account, 8 p.m. is No. 4 cable news hour in total viewers. However, Fox News Tonight-only drops to No. 7.

Fox News and MSNBC are home to the 25 most-watched daily cable news shows for the quarter. Anderson Cooper 360 was CNN’s most-watched show in Q2, averaging 752,000 total viewers at 8 p.m. (No. 26 overall).

Here are the 10 most-watched daily cable news shows for Q2 2023, as per live-plus-same-day data from Nielsen.

  1. Fox News | 5 p.m. /The Five: 2,780,000 / 62 telecasts
  2. Fox News | 7 p.m./Jesse Watters Primetime: 2,287,000 / 44 telecasts
  3. Fox News | 9 p.m./ Hannity: 2,241,000 / 52 telecasts
  4. Fox News | 6 p.m. / Special Report with Bret Baier: 1,971,000 / 62 telecasts
  5. Fox News | 10 p.m./The Ingraham Angle: 1,790,000/ 46 telecasts
  6. Fox News | 11 p.m. / Gutfeld!: 1,703,000 / 60 telecasts
  7. Fox News | 8 p.m. / Fox News Tonight: 1,596,000 / 43 telecasts
  8. MSNBC | 10 p.m. / The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell: 1,568,000 / 66 telecasts
  9. MSNBC |  4-6 p.m. / Deadline: White House with Nicolle Wallace: 1,525,000 / 64 telecasts
  10. MSNBC | 6 p.m. / The Beat with Ari Melber: 1,516,000 / 65 telecasts

*4. Fox News | 8 p.m. / Tucker Carlson Tonight, Fox News Tonight: 2,127,000 / 60 telecasts

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

Q2 2023 (Total Viewers) 

 

How about the top cable news shows of Q2 among Adults 25-54? After all, this is a demographic that advertisers of TV news still focus their ad dollars on.

With Tucker Carlson gone from the network as of April 24, The Five climbed to No. 1 on cable news in the demo, averaged 299,000 Adults 25-54 in Q2 2023. Gutfeld! climbed from fifth to second (246,000) a notable feat for an 11 p.m. show. Hannity (238,000), Jesse Watters Primetime (225,000) and The Ingraham Angle (213,000) round out the top five.

Fox News has the top eight shows on cable news among adults 25-54. MSNBC’s All In With Chris Hayes is the top-rated non-Fox News cable news offering for Q2, coming in at No. 9 with a 168,000 A25-54 average. This is the first quarter in which an 8 p.m. MSNBC show has defeated an 8 p.m. Fox News show in any key measurement in network history.

*Fox’s 8 p.m. hour does beat MSNBC’s 8 p.m. hour in Q2 if you take Tucker Carlson Tonight into account. But if you compare strictly Fox News Tonight vs. All In, the MSNBC show wins.

Additionally, MSNBC’s The Beat With Ari Melber and Fox News’ America’s Newsroom co-anchored by Bill Hemmer and Dana Perino round out the top ten in the demo.

Here are the top 10 cable news shows among Adults 25-54 for Q2 ’23, as per live-plus-same-day data from Nielsen:

  1. Fox News | 5 p.m. / The Five: 299,000 / 62 telecasts
  2. Fox News | 11 p.m. / Gutfeld!: 246,000 / 60 telecasts
  3. Fox News | 9 p.m. / Hannity: 238,000 / 52 telecasts
  4. Fox News | 7 p.m. / Jesse Watters Primetime: 225,000 / 44 telecasts
  5. Fox News | 10 p.m. / The Ingraham Angle: 213,000 / 46 telecasts
  6. Fox News  6 p.m. / Special Report with Bret Baier: 211,000 / 62 telecasts
  7. Fox News | 12 p.m. / Outnumbered: 182,000 / 62 telecasts
  8. Fox News | 11 a.m. / The Faulkner Focus: 173,000 / 62 telecasts
  9. MSNBC | 8 p.m. / All In with Chris Hayes: 168,000 / 60 telecasts
  10. MSNBC | 6 p.m. / The Beat With Ari Melber: 164,000 / 65 telecasts / Fox News | 9-11 a.m.: America’s Newsroom: 164,000 / 124 telecasts

*3. Fox News | 8 p.m. | Tucker Carlson Tonight/Fox News Tonight: 242,000 / 60 telecasts

Below, the full regularly-scheduled cable news show ranker sorted by most to fewest Adults 25-54:

Q2 2023 (Adults 25-54) 

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