Sporting New Prime Time Lineup, Fox News Wins Week of Oct. 30

By A.J. Katz 

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Cable news continues to thrive in the age of Trump. Just check out the basic cable ratings rankings for the week of October 30, which include each of cable news’s “big three” at or near the top.

Sporting a new prime time lineup for a full week, Fox News took back the No. 1 ranking in total viewers, both in total day and perhaps more importantly, in prime time. FNC has finished No. 1 in total day for 8 straight weeks, and returned to the top in prime time after falling short to sports news juggernaut ESPN.

Additionally, FNC programs also made up 5 of the top 10 cable telecasts in total viewers, including various telecasts of Tucker Carlson Tonight, Hannity and a new addition to the network’s prime time lineup, The Ingraham Angle.

Sean Hannity once again had the No. 1 program across all of cable news, holding off 9 p.m. rival Rachel Maddow by 429,000 total viewers and 13,000 A25-54 viewers.

The debut week of The Ingraham Angle at 10 p.m. earned a dominant win over time slot counterpart The Last Word With Lawrence O’Donnell in total viewers. Her margin of victory over O’Donnell was far tighter when it came to the ad-friendly A25-54 demo.

Ingraham’s interviews with the White House Chief of Staff and POTUS aired on two separate nights during her debut week, which undoubtedly boosted ratings. Will Ingraham remain ahead of O’Donnell going forward?

10 p.m. ET:

  • Fox News’s The Ingraham Angle: 2,718,000 total viewers / 529,000 A25-54
  • MSNBC’s The Last Word With Lawrence O’Donnell: 2,251,000 / 501,000 A25-54
  • CNN Tonight With Don Lemon: 1,005,000 total viewers / 382,000 A25-54

Shannon Bream‘s new 11 p.m. show Fox News @ Night edged new timeslot rival The 11th Hour With Brian Williams last week. Williams only hosted the program on Monday, with Ali Velshi and Nicolle Wallace subbing in for him Tuesday through Friday. With Williams slated to host The 11th Hour for the entirety of this week, will Bream remain No. 1?

11 p.m. ET:

  • Fox News @ Night: 1,662,000 total viewers / 377,000 A25-54
  • MSNBC’s 11th Hour With Brian Williams: 1,565,000 total viewers / 367,000 A25-54
  • CNN Tonight With Don Lemon: 772,000 total viewers / 272,000 A25-54

Here’s a look at the basic cable top 10, sorted by total viewers. MSNBC and CNN are predictably in the mix.

Basic Cable Top 10 – Prime Time (Total Viewers)

  1. Fox News (2,730,000)
  2. ESPN (2,316,000)
  3. MSNBC (1,906,000)
  4. Hallmark Channel (1,867,000)
  5. USA (1,240,000)
  6. AMC (1,163,000)
  7. TBS (1,112,000)
  8. HGTV (1,064,000)
  9. History (1,060,000)
  10. CNN (1,019,000)

Basic Cable Top 10 – Total Day (Total Viewers)

  1. Fox News (1,681,000)
  2. MSNBC (1,065,000)
  3. Hallmark Channel (1,014,000)
  4. Nickelodeon (1,004,000)
  5. ESPN (984,000)
  6. CNN (830,000)
  7. Adult Swim (729,000)
  8. Investigation Discovery (694,000)
  9. HGTV (647,000)
  10. Nick-At-Nite (617,000)


Basic Cable Ranker: Week of Oct. 30 (Total Viewers)

On the business news front, Fox Business defeated CNBC in total Business Day viewers. Following the release of the proposed GOP tax plan and the nomination of new Fed chair Jerome Powell, the network’s 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. daypart coverage saw a +21 percent advantage over its rival. Plus, Lou Dobbs was No. 1 across business news in total viewers for the 63rd straight week.

CNBC continues to defeat Fox Business in the advertiser-friendly A25-54 demographic, and is still beating FBN in prime time.

Business Day

FBN: 222,000 total viewers / 24,000 A25-54

CNBC: 184,000 total viewers /  32,000 A25-54

Prime Time

CNBC: 281,000 total viewers

FBN: 91,000 total viewers