July 19 Sunday Show Ratings: Meet the Press Remains No. 1; Chris Wallace’s Interview With Trump Delivers Strong Ratings for Fox News Sunday

By A.J. Katz 

According to live-plus-same-day data from Nielsen, NBC’s Meet the Press with Chuck Todd was No. 1 on July 19, topping the first-run broadcasts of ABC’s, CBS’ and Fox’s Sunday shows in Total Viewers and in the A25-54 demo.

The original broadcast of MTP averaged 3.33 million Total Viewers on Sunday. That figure is +24% (+634,000) more than ABC’s This Week and +17% (+489,000) more than CBS’ Face the Nation.

This marks MTP’s best total viewer delivery in three weeks (since June 28, 2020) as well as MTP’s best advantage over ABC in three weeks (since June 28, 2020) and over CBS in 23 weeks (since Feb. 9, 2020).


Among the A25-54 demo, the money-making category, MTP won by a more comfortable margin. The first-run broadcast averaged 757,000 viewers, +48% (+153,000) more than This Week and +60% (+112,000) more than Face the Nation. Meet the Press has averaged more A25-54 viewers than the competition for 21 consecutive weeks.

Now, compared with the prior Sunday (July 12), Meet the Press was +5% in Total Viewers and +9% in the key demo. On July 21, 2019, Meet the Press was preempted for The Open Championship, so we can’t do a proper year-over-year comparison here.

An additional 839,000 total viewers and 124,000 A25-54 viewers watched the Sunday program on July 19, 2020 through rebroadcasts on NBC and MSNBC.

ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos (hosted by Martha Raddatz) finished behind Face the Nation in Total Viewers (2.7 million), but ahead of the CBS public affairs show in the key A25-54 demo (512,000).

The 30-minute edition of CBS’ Face the Nation with Margaret Brennan averaged 2.8 million Total Viewers and 474,000 demo viewers, a far smaller audience than normal.

Compared with the prior Sunday (July 12), Face the Nation was -8% in Total Viewers and -20% in the key demo.

CBS decided to retitle Face the Nation for the second consecutive week (meaning the Nielsen numbers you’ll see below won’t count toward each show’s season averages). Why? Perhaps FTN thought its audience would be more focused on Chris Wallace‘s interview with President Trump on Fox News Sunday and less on its show? (Although FNS airs 9-10 a.m. in most markets, and FTN airs 10:30-11:30 a.m. in most markets). Or maybe its just summer related? Retitling on back-to-back Sundays is a bit abnormal. This is something worth keeping an eye on going forward.

Speaking of Wallace, his widely praised interview with President Trump on Fox News Sunday delivered a big audience for the program as expected. The first-run broadcast on Fox averaged 1.8 million Total Viewers and 453,000 Adults 25-54, far larger than usual, as you’ll see below.

If one combines the original broadcast with the trio of cable replays, then yes, the July 19 edition of Fox News Sunday—which averaged 5.8 million viewers and 1.09 million in the 25-54 demographic—was the most-watched Sunday show of the week.

However, when it comes to the Sunday show Nielsen ratings stories, TVNewser traditionally compares first-run broadcasts, and with that in mind, Meet the Press is still the No. 1 Sunday show for the week.

Nevertheless, it was a superb ratings week for Fox News Sunday. Tough to argue that.

Compared with the prior Sunday (July 12), FNS was +56% in Total Viewers and +36% in the key A25-54 demo. Compared with the prior Sunday in 2019 (July 21), FNS was +53% in Total Viewers and +43% in the key A25-54 demo.

July 12, 2020 Sunday Public Affairs Show Ratings:

Network Program Total Viewers A25-54
NBC Meet the Press  3,331,000 757,000
CBS Face the Nation (1/2 hr) 2,842,000 474,000
ABC This Week 2,697,000 512,000
FOX Fox News Sunday 1,804,000 453,000

Source: The Nielsen Company, NTI (Total Viewers and Adults 25-54); Live + SD for 7/19/20, 7/12/20 and 7/21/19 or as dated. Most Current: 2019 -2020 Season (9/23/19 – 7/19/20) and 2018 -2019 Season (9/24/19 – 7/21/19). Averages based on regular telecasts.