Sunday Show Ratings: Sept. 29

By A.J. Katz 

The first Sunday of the 2019-2020 broadcast news season brought with it a split decision in the Sunday show ratings race.

NBC’s Meet the Press with Chuck Todd delivered the largest total audience, as has been tradition in recent years, but ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos finished at the top of the heap among adults 25-54.

This Week’s win marks the 4th time in the last 5 years that the ABC Sunday politics program ranked No. 1 in Adults 25-54 on the opening Sunday of the season.


The 2.99 million viewers represents the show’s largest audience in over six months and its 784,000 A25-54 viewer count represents the show’s top news demo performance in eight months.

MTP, on the other hand, remained the most-watched Sunday show, delivering 3.29 million viewers +10% more than ABC and +9% more than CBS’ Face the Nation.

The NBC Sunday public affairs show continues to dominate the influential Washington, D.C. market, outperforming its competition across the board and winning every Sunday in total viewers for more than four straight years (since March 22, 2015).

An additional 1.292 million total viewers and 395,000 A25-54 viewers watched the Sunday program through rebroadcasts on NBC and MSNBC.

CBS’ Face the Nation with Margaret Brennan opened the new season by taking second place in total viewers, ahead of ABC, but third among adults 25-54, behind both ABC and NBC.

Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace posted 1.27 million total viewers and 391,000 demo viewers on Fox. The trio of cable replays delivered 2.15 million viewers and 365,000 demo viewers. Altogether, that’s 3.42 million total viewers and 756,000 A25-54 viewers on Sept. 29. FNS did not air in the Portland market due to football.

Compared to the same Sunday in 2018 (which included MTP being pre-empted due to Ryder Cup golf), Face the Nation was -15% in total viewers and -15% in A25-54 viewers. This Week was -12% in total viewers and -5% in A25-54 demo viewers. Fox News Sunday was -13% in total viewers and -16% in A25-54 viewers.

The Nielsen numbers for Sept. 29, 2019:

Network Program Total Viewers A25-54
Meet the Press 3,281,000 757,000
CBS Face the Nation (1/2 hr) 3,021,000 651,000
ABC This Week 2,987,000 784,000
FOX Fox News Sunday 1,274,000 391,000

Source: The Nielsen Company, NTI (Total Viewers and Adults 25-54); Live + SD for 9/29/19,  and 9/30/18 or as dated.  Season to date: Most Current