Sunday Show Ratings: Sept. 30

By A.J. Katz 

CBS’ Face the Nation was the No. 1 Sunday show for 2018-2019 season premiere week, while ABC’s with George Stephanopoulos ranked No. 1 in Adults 25-54, per Nielsen live-plus-same-day data.

The ABC Sunday show was +18 percent in total viewers, and +4 percent in the key A25-54 demo vs. the same Sunday in 2017. In fact, the 3.39 million viewers This Week drew this past Sunday represents the largest premiere week audience in 10 years.

Meet the Press was pre-empted this past Sunday due to Ryder Cup golf, something that was not the case in 2017. The show still managed to win the month of September across the board. 


Despite finishing No. 1 in total viewers, FTN was -7 percent vs. the comparable Sunday last year. The program was also -12 percent vs. last year among A25-54. It appears ABC benefited more from the MTP preemption than CBS.

Fox News Sunday hosted by Chris Wallace posted the most significant year-over-year audience growth of the Sunday shows, +59 percent in total viewers and +60 percent in the A25-54 demo.

Why the massive discrepancy? Probably because the Oct. 1 2017 edition of FNS aired at 8 a.m. ET due to FOX’s morning broadcast of Saints-Dolphins from London. That wasn’t the case this past Sunday.

The broadcast’s trio of cable replays delivered 2.86 million viewers and 498,000 demo viewers. Combined with the original Fox broadcast, the Sept. 30 edition of FNS posted 4.32 million total viewers and 962,000 demo viewers.

Additionally, FNS delivered 36,000 A25-54 beating This Week and Face the Nation combined in the DC market.

Editor’s Note: Face the Nation’s second half-hour was broadcast contiguously across 66.34 percent of CBS affiliates.

The numbers for Sept. 30:

Network Program Total Viewers A25-54
CBS Face the Nation (1/2 hr)  3,566,000  766,000
ABC This Week  3,394,000  829,000
Fox News Sunday  1,463,000  464,000
NBC Meet the Press  pre-empt  pre-empt