The Top Cable News Programs in August 2016 Were…

By A.J. Katz 

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O'ReillyAdweekFox News Channel claimed eight out of the top 10 programs in total viewers and seven out of the top 10 in the 25-54 demo among cable news shows that were Nielsen-rated in August 2016.

Bill O’Reilly led the way for the 189th consecutive month. “The Factor” delivered over 2.9 million total viewers on average, 492,000 of whom were A25-54. The Kelly File finished No. 2, both in total viewers, and slipped to No. 3 in the demo. The program fell from its August 2015 performance, which may be due in part to her 2-week vacation during the month, as well as the fact her Aug. 6, 2015 show followed the network’s record-breaking GOP debate.

Hannity finished No. 3 in total prime-time viewers and No. 2 in A25-54. It improved by 27 percent in total viewers and by 19 percent in A25-54 from August 2015. August 2016 is the program’s second highest-rated month in total viewers and third highest in the key demo since its launch in October 2013.

On the Record with Greta Van Susteren was up 2 percent in total viewers, marking the 35th consecutive month as the most-watched cable news show in the 7 p.m. time slot.

The Rachel Maddow Show was the top cable news program for August to not air on Fox News, and of course MSNBC’s top program. Maddow finished seventh in total viewers, and shot up into a 4th place tie with Special Report with Bret Baier in the key 25-54 demo. Her August 2016 performance in the demo is notable, especially relative to this time last year. The program delivered a 113 percent jump from August 2015. Her’s was the No. 20 cable news show in A25-54 viewers that month. Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell, All In With Chris Hayes and Hardball with Chris Matthews followed Maddow in the MSNBC ranks.

Anderson Cooper 360 remained CNN’s most-watched and highest-rated show for August, up 49 percent in total viewers and up 60 percent in the key demo compared to August 2015. The Lead with Jake Tapper was CNN’s No. 2 show in total viewers, followed by The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer, CNN Tonight with Don Lemon, and Erin Burnett Outfront. CNN Tonight was CNN’s No. 2 show in the demo.


August 2016 cable news ranker (Total Viewers)

August 2016 Cable News Ranker (A25-54)