Sunday Show Ratings: Sept. 16

By A.J. Katz 

Perhaps aided by breaking news of the aftermath of Hurricane Florence, plus sexual misconduct accusation against Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh, the Sunday public affairs shows posted larger total audiences than we’ve come to expect as of late.

Moderated by John Dickerson while Margaret Brennan is on maternity leave, Face the Nation was the most-watched Sunday public affairs show for the week, ending Meet the Press’ across-the-board winning streak at 11 consecutive weeks.

FTN posted +5 percent growth in total viewers vs. the comparable week in 2017, yet as we’ll show below, it posted year-over-year losses among adults 25-54 (-12 percent).

The Sept. 18 episode of Face the Nation guests included FEMA Administrator Brock Long, Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC).

NBC’s Meet the Press with Chuck Todd, despite losing the top spot in total viewers, remained the No. 1 Sunday public affairs show among adults 25-54. MTP has now held that status for its 34th consecutive broadcast, its best streak in more than 11 years.

The Sept. 16 broadcast posted a solid +12 percent growth in total viewers vs. the same Sunday last year, yet was -6 percent in the A25-54 demo.

The broadcast included interviews with New Bern, N.C., mayor Dana Outlaw, FEMA administrator Brock Long, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) and Harvard Law prof. emeritus Alan Dershowitz.

ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos delivered its largest total audience in four months, and out-delivered Face the Nation by its largest advantage in A 25-54 in 7 weeks – since July 29.

This Week posted +12 percent growth in total viewers vs. the comparable Sunday last year, but was -4 percent in the key A25-54 demo.

Fox News Sunday moderated by Chris Wallace on Fox Broadcast posted +3 percent growth in total viewers, yet was -13 percent in the demo vs. the same Sunday last year. The trio of cable replays combined for 2.35 million total viewers and 346,000 A25-54 viewers. Altogether, that’s 3.68 million total viewers and 729,000 demo viewers on Sept. 16, 2018.

*Editor’s note: As is typically the case, FTN’s second half-hour was broadcast contiguously across only 66.34% of CBS affiliates.

The numbers for Sept. 16:

Network Program Total Viewers A25-54
CBS Face the Nation (1/2 hr)  3,431,000  666,000
NBC Meet the Press  3,347,000  833,000
This Week  3,028,000  742,000
FOX Fox News Sunday  1,330,000  383,000

 Source: The Nielsen Company, NTI (Total Viewers and Adults 25-54); Live + SD for 9/16/18, and 9/17/17 or as dated. Season-to-Date: Most Current: 2017-2018 Season (9/25/17 – 9/9/18) and 2016-2017 Season (9/19/16 – 9/10/17).  Averages based on regular telecasts.