Sunday Show Ratings: May 17 and May Sweeps

By Brian Flood 

CBS’ Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer was the top-rated Sunday public affairs program in total viewers last Sunday, while ABC’s This Week won the A25-54 demo.

But ABC’s win comes with an asterisk. The program was only rated for the first 29 minutes despite 95%  coverage across the U.S. CBS has long been based on just the first half-hour, as the full contiguous hour airs in just 76% of the country.

It turns out This Week has been playing with the timing recently: on May 10 the show was rated for just the first 32 minutes, while the Jan. 4 episode was rated for 27 minutes. The idea being that tune-out increases as a program like this airs, so make it shorter and your viewership will be greater.

Compared to the same week last year, Face the Nation is up +9% in viewers but down -5% in the demo.  This Week was up +47% in the demo, while only showing a slight increase in total viewers. NBC’s Meet the Press finished third in viewers, but second in the demo, up +6% and up +24%, respectively.

Fox News Sunday was up +10% in viewers and down -17% in the demo, while combining with cable replays for 3.16 viewers. Replays on FNC averaged a combined 1,957,000 total viewers and 350,000 A25-54 viewers.

The numbers for May 17:

Network Program Total Viewers A25-54
CBS Face the Nation 3.14M 774,000
ABC This Week 2.78M 1.06M
NBC Meet the Press 2.62M 869,000
Fox Fox News Sunday 1.20M 341,000
Univ Al Punto

Al Punto ratings will be posted when they become available

As for May Sweeps, Face the Nation won both categories, but only 60,000 viewers separated 1st and 3rd place in the demo.

The numbers for May Sweeps:

Network Program Total Viewers A25-54
CBS “Face the Nation” 3.25M 892,000
NBC “Meet the Press” 2.62M 832,000
ABC “This Week” 2.63M 885,000
FOX “Fox News Sunday” 1.24M 362,000