Q1 2020 Sunday Shows: Meet the Press Marks 9 Straight Quarters at No. 1 in Total Viewers and Adults 25-54

By A.J. Katz 

Meet the Press has wrapped up yet another quarter as the No.1 Sunday public affairs program.

Averaging 3.63 million Total Viewers and 900,000 Adults 25-54 in Q1 2020, the NBC program marked its 9th consecutive quarter at No. 1 in both measurements and its 4th straight year winning a first quarter in the aforementioned measurements.

The Chuck Todd-moderated program also earned its 17th consecutive quarter win exclusively in the key A25-54 demo.


ABC’s This Week With George Stephanopoulos drew its largest total audience for a quarter in three years, and its largest Adults 25-54 audience for a quarter in two years. The program split second place honors with Face the Nation, with ABC beating CBS in Adults 25-54 (by just +7,000 viewers), while CBS beat ABC by +300,000 in Total Viewers.

Speaking of CBS, in addition to finishing No. 2 in Total Viewers, and No. 3 in the demo for Q1, Face the Nation With Margaret Brennan earned its most watched broadcast in more than 18 years. The March 29 broadcast averaged 4.6 million viewers, the show’s most-watched since Sept. 16, 2001…right after 9/11.

Fox News Sunday with anchor Chris Wallace averaged 1.4 million total viewers and 413,000 in the key demo for Q1.  The show’s highest-rated week was March 22 with nearly 2 million total viewers and 609,000 Adults 25-54.

Compared to Q1 of 2019, Meet the Press, despite finishing No. 1, was -3% in Total Viewers and -4% in the key A25-54 demo. The other programs fared a bit better year-over-year. Face the Nation was +3% in Total Viewers, but -1% in the demo. This Week posted year-over-year growth in multiple measurements, +2% in Total Viewers and +3% in the demo. Fox News Sunday was flat in Total Viewers, but +2% in the demo vs. Q1 of last year.

Q1 2020 Sunday Public Affairs Show Ratings:

Network Program Total Viewers A25-54
NBC Meet the Press  3,626,000 900,000
CBS Face the Nation (1/2 hr) 3,491,000 742,000
ABC This Week 3,131,000 749,000
FOX Fox News Sunday 1,438,000 416,000

Source: The Nielsen Company, NTI (Total Viewers and Adults 25-54); Most Current – 1Q20: 12/30/19 – 3/29/20, 1Q19: 12/31/18 – 3/31/19 .  Averages based on regular telecasts.