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Nov. 8 Sunday Show Ratings: Meet the Press Wins the Sunday After Election Day

By A.J. Katz 

NBC’s Meet the Press with Chuck Todd was the No. 1 public affairs program on the Sunday after the 2020 election, winning both in total viewers (3.7 million) and among adults 25-54 (848,000). That’s the show’s largest audience in the past 22 weeks.

An additional 385,000 total viewers and 149,000 A25-54 viewers watched the Nov. 8 edition of Meet the Press through a rebroadcast on NBC.

In addition to winning the week, MTP remains the No. 1 Sunday show in 2020-2021 to date, and has finished No. 1 in both of the aforementioned categories for four consecutive seasons.

MTP beat CBS’ Face the Nation by just +15,000 total viewers. Moderated by Margaret Brennan, CBS’ Sunday political program Face the Nation averaged 3.675 million viewers, 739,000 adults 25-54. That’s more total viewers than ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos, but fewer adults 25-54.

ABC’s Sunday show, This Week averaged 3.5 million total viewers, and 763,000 adults 25-54. That’s the program’s largest total audience in 6 months, and largest demo audience in 4 months. This Week is off to its best start in four years.

The Fox network broadcast of Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace delivered 1.54 million total viewers and 463,000 A25-54 viewers. The cable replays earned a combined 2.8 million total viewers and 626,000 A25-54 viewers. Combined with the first-run broadcast, that’s roughly 4.3 million total viewers and 1.1 million A25-54 viewers tuning in to FNS on Nov. 8.

How did the Sunday shows perform relative to the comparable Sunday in 2019? All of them were up, as one might expect days after a presidential election. Face the Nation was +25% in total viewers and +21% in adults 25-54. Meet the Press was +14% in total viewers, and +17% in the demo. This Week was +30% in total viewers and +21% in adults 25-54. Fox News Sunday was +19% in total viewers but +21% in adults 25-54.

How did the shows perform relative to the Sunday after the 2016 election? Not so great. Meet the Press was -3% in total viewers and -33% in the A25-54 demo. Face the Nation was -15% in total viewers and -30% in the demo. The losses for FTN aren’t completely surprising. The broadcast showed a clip from Lesley Stahl‘s 60 Minutes interview featuring then-Pres.Elect Trump, which was set to air that evening. This one didn’t include a walk-out. At least not one that we’re aware of.

ABC’s This Week was only -1% in total viewers but -20% in the demo. Fox News Sunday was -20% in total viewers and -23% in the demo.

It’s crystal clear that Sunday show viewership is down relative to this time in 2016, particularly among younger news audiences.

Nov. 8, 2020 Sunday Public Affairs Show Ratings (Nielsen live-plus-same-day):

Network Program Total Viewers A25-54
NBC Meet the Press 3,690,000 848,000
NBC Face the Nation (1/2 hr) 3,675,000 739,000
ABC This Week 3,521,000 763,000
FOX Fox News Sunday 1,537,000 463,000

Source: The Nielsen Company, NTI (Total Viewers and Adults 25-54); Live + SD