Sunday Show Ratings: Q4 2018; Week of Dec. 30

By A.J. Katz 

Another quarter, another ratings win for NBC’s Meet the Press with Chuck Todd.

The longest-running show on TV won the fourth quarter of 2018 across the board, marking the fourth straight quarter as TV’s No. 1 Sunday politics show. The Q4 ’18 win also represents the first time MTP has won all four quarters of a calendar across all relevant measurements since 2010.

According to the most current data from Nielsen, Meet the Press garnered its first Q4 win over both ABC and CBS among total viewers since 2011.


MTP also ran its streak to 12 straight quarters as the No. 1 Sunday show in the key A25-54 demo.

But not everything was spectacular for Meet the Press from a ratings perspective. The broadcast was -1 percent in total viewers and -10 percent among adults 25-54 vs. Q4 of 2017.

CBS’ Face the Nation with Margaret Brennan captured second place in Q4 ’18, both in total viewers and in the key A25-54 demo. The broadcast finished No. 1 in total viewers and No. 3 in the demo in Q4 ’17.

Similar to MTP, FTN lost viewers vs. last year, -9 percent in total viewers and -7 percent in the key demo.

ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos finished No. 3 across the board. It didn’t lose much of its total audience relative to Q4 2017 (-3 percent), giving Face the Nation a run for its money in the total viewers category; but it did lose a significant amount of its demo audience from Q4 of last year (-19 percent), and fell behind CBS in that category.

For 4Q’2018, Fox News Sunday hosted by Chris Wallace on Fox Broadcasting averaged 1.44 million in total viewers and 418,000 in the 25-54 demographic.  That’s +3 percent in total viewers and -6 percent in the key A25-54 demo vs. Q4 2017. Additionally, with repeats on Fox News, the program deliverd 3.7 million in total viewers and 787,000 in the demo.

Here are the numbers for Q4 2018:

Network Program Total Viewers A25-54
NBC Meet the Press  3,380,000  853,000
CBS Face the Nation (1/2 hr)  3,213,000  736,000
ABC This Week  2,897,000  671,000
FOX Fox News Sunday  1,442,000  332,000

MTP was retitled last Sunday, Dec. 30, but still won across the board. The broadcast averaged +5 percent more total viewers than ABC and +1 percent more than CBS. The program also out-performed ABC in the demo by +3 percent and CBS in the demo by +6 percent.

Sunday’s broadcast was a special edition of MTP focusing on climate change with interviews with former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and California Governor Jerry Brown.

Face the Nation gave Meet the Press a run for its money in total audience, but still finished runner up in the category. The broadcast finished in third place in the key A25-54 demo, behind both NBC and ABC. Face the Nation regularly finishes ahead of This Week in the demo. That wasn’t the case this past week.

Speaking of the ABC Sunday show – It posted its strongest numbers since its season premiere 13 weeks ago – Sept. 30, 2018.

Fox News Sunday on Fox Broadcasting was hosted by Sandra Smith this past week. The original broadcast delivered 1.25 million total viewers and 332,000 A25-54 viewers. The cable replays delivered 1.59 million total viewers and 222,000 A25-54 viewers. Altogether, that’s 2.84 million total viewer and 554,000 A25-54 viewers on Dec. 30

Here are the numbers for Dec. 30, 2018:

Network Program Total Viewers A25-54
NBC Meet the Press  3,253,000 754,000
CBS Face the Nation (1/2 hr)  3,209,000 714,000
ABC This Week  3,105,000 732,000
FOX Fox News Sunday  1,248,000 332,000

Source: The Nielsen Company, NTI (Total Viewers and Adults 25-54); Live + SD for 12/30/18, 12/23/18 and 12/31/17 or as dated.  Season to date: Most Current: 2018 -2019 Season (9/24 – 12/30/18) and 2017-2018 Season (9/25 – 12/31/17).  Quarters: Live+7/Most Current – 4Q18: 9/24 – 12/30/18, 3Q17: 7/2 – 9/23/18 and 4Q17: 9/25 – 12/31/17. Averages based on regular telecasts.