Sunday Show Ratings: Face the Nation and This Week Split Top Honors on Sept. 15

By A.J. Katz 

It’s very rare for Meet the Press not to finish No. 1 among the Sunday shows in total viewers or adults 25-54 these days, but that’s exactly what happened on Sept. 15, 2019.

ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos ranked No. 1 in adults 25-54 this past week, earning the top spot in the key adult news demo for the 2nd time in the last three weeks. This Week out-delivered Face the Nation by +55,000 and Meet the Press by 41,000 A25-54 viewers.  In addition, This Week beat MTP by +13,000 total viewers, but averaged fewer total viewers than Face the Nation.

Speaking of FTN, CBS’ Sunday public affairs show, moderated by Margaret Brennan, beat NBC and ABC in total viewers, averaging 2.77 million. On the downside, the broadcast finished in third place among adults 25-54.


Congresswoman Ilhan Omar appeared on Face the Nation for what was her first one-on-one network news interview.

Despite struggling this past week, season-to-date, NBC’s Meet the Press with Chuck Todd is the still the No. 1 Sunday show across the board, and is delivering its best total viewer lead over CBS at this point of the season in eight years.

Bill Hemmer filled in for Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday this past week. The first-run broadcast on Fox delivered 1.3 million total viewers and 351,000 A25-54 viewers. The trio of cable replays delivered two million total viewers and 316,000 demo viewers. Altogether, that’s 3.13 million viewers and 667,000 A25-54 viewers who tuned into FNS on Sept. 15.

Compared with the same Sunday in 2018, NBC was -19% in total viewers, ABC was -10%, CBS was -19% and Fox was -15%. In the A25-54 demo, NBC was -28%, ABC was -13%, CBS was -12%, and Fox was -8%.

The comparable Sunday in 2018 was a busy one, featuring news concerning the aftermath of Hurricane Florence, plus sexual misconduct accusations against then-Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh. This may partially explain the larger-than-usual year-over-year dropoff.

*Face the Nation’s second half-hour was broadcast contiguously across 69.44% of the CBS affiliates.

The Nielsen numbers for Sept. 15, 2019:

Network Program Total Viewers A25-54
Face the Nation (1/2 hr) 2,766,000 588,000
ABC This Week 2,725,000 643,000
NBC Meet the Press 2,712,000 602,000
FOX Fox News Sunday 1,125,000 351,000

Source: The Nielsen Company, NTI (Total Viewers and Adults 25-54); Live + SD for 9/15/19, 9/8/19 and 9/16/18 or as dated.  Season to date: Most Current: 2018 -2019 Season (9/24/18 – 9/15/19) and 2017-2018 Season (9/25/17 – 9/16/18).  Averages based on regular telecasts.