Sunday Show Ratings: Nov. 18

By A.J. Katz 

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The Nov. 18 edition of CBS’ Face the Nation was Margaret Brennan‘s second show in the moderator’s chair since returning from maternity leave. If the ratings are any indication, she hasn’t missed a step.

FTN was the No. 1 Sunday public affairs program on Nov. 18, delivering 3.35 million total viewers. Despite that No. 1 finish, which is a nice achievement for Brennan and the program, the broadcast was -7 percent in total viewers and -8 percent in the A25-54 demo vs. the same Sunday last year.

NBC’s Meet the Press with Chuck Todd remained No. 1 on Sundays among adults 25-54 (the show’s 42nd consecutive win in that ad-friendly demo). The show also posted year-over-year growth, both among total viewers (+4 percent) and in the key A25-54 demo (+1 percent). Andrea Mitchell was filling in for Todd on that particular Sunday.

ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos finished in third place once again on Sunday, and posted double digit audience declines in the process (-10 percent in total viewers / -36 percent in A25-54).

Chris Wallace interviewed President Trump for the Nov. 18 edition of Fox News Sunday, which may have hurt This Week’s ratings, but definitely lifted Fox News Sunday’s. FNS was +29 percent in total viewers, and +21 percent in A25-54 viewers versus the comparable Sunday in 2017.

4.39 million people watched the interview across all broadcast and cable airings on Nov. 18, making it the Fox News Sunday’s highest-rated telecast of 2018.

The numbers for Nov. 19:

Network Program Total Viewers A25-54
CBS Face the Nation (1/2 hr)  3,354,000 767,000 
NBC Meet the Press  3,232,000  795,000
This Week  2,671,000  579,000
FOX Fox News Sunday 1,702,000  519,000

Source: The Nielsen Company, Live + Same Day data

Meet the Press was the go-to Sunday show for November 2018 sweeps across-the-board. With the November sweeps win, the longest-running show in TV history is now the No. 1 Sunday public affairs show for 4 sweeps periods running.

The program was up less than +1 percent in total viewers, but -7 percent in adults 25-54 versus November 2017 sweeps.

Face the Nation was the No. 2 Sunday show for November sweeps, both in total viewers and among adults 25-54. However, the program was -11 percent in total viewers, and -7 percent in A25-54 viewers vs. Nov. 2017 sweeps.

ABC’s This Week has a bad sweeps relative to last year. The program, which finished No.3  across the board, was -7 percent in total viewers and -22 percent in A25-54 viewers vs. its Nov. 2017 sweeps delivery. That said, the show was +6 percent in total viewers vs. July 2018 sweeps (though fall audiences are almost always larger than summer audiences).

Fox News Sunday had a very solid month, despite the usual fourth place finish. The program was +11 percent in total viewers, and +4 percent in A25-54 viewers versus Nov. 2017 sweeps delivery, making it the only Sunday show to post year-over-year audience growth in multiple categories.

The numbers for November 2018 sweeps:

Network Program Total Viewers A25-54
NBC Meet the Press  3,338,000  859,000
CBS Face the Nation (1/2 hr)  3,138,000 724,000
This Week  2,776,000 658,000
FOX Fox News Sunday  1,539,000  455,000

Source: The Nielsen Company, NTI (Total Viewers and Adults 25-54); Sweeps based on Live+7/Most Current:  November 2018 Sweep (10/25 – 11/21/18), November 2017 Sweep (10/26 – 11/22/17) and July 2018 Sweep (6/28 – 7/25/18).   Sweep periods (November, February, May and July).  NOTE: Due to the digital transition, the 2009 February sweep was 3/5 – 4/1/09. Averages based on regular telecasts.