Sunday Shows: Q1 2017 and March 26

By A.J. Katz 

Sunday-AM-Anchors_061015_640It was a mixed quarter for the Sunday public affairs programs, at least relative to Q1 of 2016. But the trend was a positive one for NBC’s Meet the Press with Chuck Todd. Not only did the program finish Q1 2017 as No.1 across the board, but it also posted year-over-year audience growth.

MTP won a quarter for the first time since 2012, averaging almost 4.1 million total viewers per original broadcast. That’s the program’s largest total audience figure since Q1 of 2009. Meet the Press also posted +6 percent growth in total viewers and +8 percent growth in the key A25-54 demo. In his third year as moderator of MTP, Todd has helped bring NBC’s Sunday public affairs show from No.3 across the board to No. 1 across the board season-to-date.

CBS’s Face the Nation with John Dickerson slipped to the No. 2 spot in total viewers and the No. 3 spot in the key news demo this past quarter. FTN ranked No. 1 in total viewers and No. 2 in the demo in Q1 2016. The program posted a -5 percent year-over-year decline in total viewers, and a tough -15 percent decline in the key A25-54 demo from last year.

ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos ranked No. 3 in total viewers, but moved up to No. 2 in the news demo this past quarter. The program posted +2 percent year-over-year growth in total viewers, but fell -2 percent in the news demo relative to Q1 2016.

This Week’s 3.52 million total viewer average for the quarter represents the program’s strongest audience delivery in 18 years – since Q1 of 1999.

FOX’s Fox News Sunday hosted by Chris Wallace held even this past quarter versus Q1 2016, both in total viewers and in the key news demo.

Q1 2017:

Network Program Total Viewers A25-54
NBC Meet the Press 4.089M 1.233M
CBS Face the Nation  3.837M 935,000
ABC This Week 3.517M 977,000
FOX Fox News Sunday 1.684M 521,000
UNIV Al Punto*  *na  *na

*Al Punto quarter-end ratings will be added when they become available.


Meet the Press ended the month of March with another Sunday victory. The program continued to post year-over-year growth, both in total viewers (+4 percent) and in the news demo (+7 percent). The comparable Sunday in 2016 was Easter Sunday.

Face the Nation posted more year-over-year total audience growth than its competition (+7 percent), and posted +2 percent growth in the news demo.

This Week posted a slight decline in total viewers versus last year (-1 percent), but posted year-over-year growth in the demo (+2 percent), breaking the 1 million mark in the process.

Fox News Sunday posted double digit year-over-year audience declines this past Sunday, both in total viewers (-10 percent) and in the news demo (-12 percent). The trio of cable replays delivered close to 3 million total viewers and 652,000 adults 25-54. The replays combined with the original FOX broadcast combined for 4.455 million total viewers and 1.139 million from the demo.

Al Punto hosted by Jorge Ramos increased its audience from the same Sunday in 2016, not just among total viewers (+11 percent) but also among A18-34 (+72 percent), A18-49 (+24 percent) and A25-54 (+18 percent). The program continues to lead CBS and FOX among millennial viewers, and beat FOX in A18-49 for the second straight week.

March 26, 2017:

Network Program Total Viewers A25-54
NBC Meet the Press 3.911M 1.208M
CBS Face the Nation  3.687M 916,000
ABC This Week 3.409M 1.018M
FOX Fox News Sunday 1.483M 487,000
UNIV Al Punto  806,000  373,000