Sunday Show Ratings: September 17

By A.J. Katz 

There was a split decision in the Sunday show ratings race on Sept. 17. CBS was No. 1 in total viewers, while NBC finished No. 1 in the ad-friendly A25-54 demographic.

Despite its top billing in overall audience, Face the Nation with John Dickerson posted -2 percent decline in total viewers, and a -16 percent decline in the news demo versus the comparable week in 2016.

The broadcast opened with an exclusive interview with Sec. of State Rex Tillerson, followed by an interview with Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), and later Ken Burns and Lynn Novick, directors of The Vietnam War, a 10-part, 18-hour documentary series.


Meet the Press with Chuck Todd was the most-watched show among adults 25-54, and posted +2 percent year-over-year growth in the category as well. MTP was -6 percent in total viewers versus last year, but remains the No. 1 Sunday public affairs show in all relevant categories this season to-date.

The Sept. 17 broadcast of MTP featured exclusive interviews with Sens. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) as well as footage from Todd’s trip with former New York City mayor Mike Bloomberg to the U.S. Virgin Islands to offer humanitarian relief and survey devastation caused by Hurricane Irma.

ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos finished No. 3 in total viewers, and No. 2 in the key A25-54 demo. The program delivered a rough ratings performance relative to the same Sunday in 2016, -17 percent in total viewers and -15 percent in the key news demo.

Fox News Sunday hosted by Chris Wallace on FOX posted a -8 percent total viewer declines, and a -3 percent decline in viewers from the news demo.

The trio of cable replays delivered a combined 2.21 million total viewers and 437,000 from the demo. Combined with the original broadcast, the episode delivered 3.50 million total viewers and 878,000 adults 25-54.

Al Punto, hosted by Jorge Ramos, posted year-over-year audience declines in traditional news advertiser categories, a rare occurrence as of late. The Sept. 17 broadcast was -1 percent in total viewers and -4 percent in the A25-54 demo versus the same Sunday last year. But the program was +19 percent among adults 25-54.

*Editor’s note: Face the Nation’s second half-hour was broadcast contiguously across 59.8% of the CBS affiliates.

The numbers for September 17 :

Network Program Total Viewers A25-54
CBS Face the Nation 3.278 M 760 k
NBC Meet the Press 3.000 M 889 k
ABC This Week 2.713 M 769 k
FOX Fox News Sunday 1.292 M 441 k
UNIV Al Punto 880 k 415 k