Sunday Show Ratings: May 21 & May 2017 Sweeps

By A.J. Katz 

CBS’s Face the Nation with John Dickerson was the most-watched Sunday public affairs show on May 21. The program also delivered +18 percent growth in total viewers and +1 percent growth in the news demo versus the comparable Sunday last year (May 22, 2016).

In addition, Face the Nation was the most-watched show for May 2017 sweeps, and its 3.74 million total viewer average for May 2017 represents the show’s best May sweep delivery in at least 29 years, which marked the start of the CBS electronic sweep records.

Face the Nation seemed to lose traction in the news demo, -4 percent from May 2016 sweeps.

NBC’s Meet the Press with Chuck Todd continues to be the go-to Sunday show for adults 25-54, winning the category for the 7th consecutive sweeps period. The program held steady in the demo compared to May 2016 sweeps, but was -3 percent in overall audience.

MTP was pre-empted this past Sunday due to NBC’s coverage of the final Sunday of the Barclays Premier League season. This could explain the year-over-year total audience growth for CBS, ABC and FOX’s Sunday shows.

ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos finished No. 2 this past week, and delivered the program’s strongest news demo performance since March 26. The program posted +4 percent total viewer growth, and held steady in the news demo versus the same Sunday last year.

This Week had a less than stellar May sweeps relative to last year. The program was -6 percent in total viewers and -12 percent in the demo versus May 2016. Nevertheless, the program continues to draw its largest overall audience in 18 years– since the 1998-99 season.

Fox News Sunday hosted by Chris Wallace posted year-over-year audience growth this past Sunday, +8 percent in total viewers and +17 percent in the news demo. FNS’s trio of cable replays (3 p.m. ET, 10 p.m. ET, and 2 a.m. ET) delivered 3.3 million total viewers and 685,000 A25-54. Altogether, the program posted 4.7 million viewers and 1.14 million A25-54 across 4 telecasts.

When comparing its May 2017 sweeps performance with May 2016, Fox News Sunday was -4 percent in total viewers, but held steady in the news demo.

Univision’s Al Punto hosted by Jorge Ramos continues to post solid ratings from the comparable week in 2016. This past Sunday’s episode was up +32 percent among adults 25-54, +20 percent among adults 18-49, and +16 percent among millennials (A18-49).

Editor’s Note: Face the Nation’s second half-hour was broadcast contiguously across 80.6% of the CBS affiliates.

The numbers for May 21:

Network Program Total Viewers A25-54
CBS Face the Nation 4.150M 928,000
ABC This Week 3.121M 863,000
FOX Fox News Sunday 1,402M 453,000
UNIV Al Punto 759,000 366,000
NBC Meet the Press pre-empted pre-empted

*Al Punto numbers will be added when made available.

The numbers for May 2017 Sweeps:

Network Program Total Viewers A25-54
CBS Face the Nation 3.740M 866,000
NBC Meet the Press 3,472M 1.053M
ABC This Week 3.070M 800,000
FOX Fox News Sunday 1.435M 446,000
UNIV Al Punto *na *na

*Al Punto numbers will be added when made available.