The Top Cable News Programs in May 2016 Were…

By A.J. Katz 

Fox News programming proved no match for the competition during the month of May. The network had the top 12 cable news programs for the month in total viewers, and the top seven cable news programs in the news demo. The Rachel Maddow Show (No. 8) and Anderson Cooper 360 (No. 9) were the non-FNC entrants into the A25-54 top 10 for May. Maddow was also the most-watched non-FNC program for May, coming in at No. 13 in total viewers.

As has been the case since December 2000, The O’Reilly Factor finished the month as the No. 1 cable news program in total viewers. It was also up 25 percent in total viewers year-over-year.

O’Reilly was followed in total viewers by The Kelly File, Hannity, Special Report with Bret Baier and The Five. Hannity finished No. 2 behind O’Reilly in A25-54, thanks to extended coverage of May primaries. The Kelly File finishes ahead of Hannity in the demo if we exclude his late-night primary coverage. 11 p.m. repeats of O’Reilly and Special Report with Bret Baier follow in the A25-54 ranks.


Anderson Cooper 360 was CNN’s most-watched program for the month, followed by The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer, The Lead with Jake Tapper, Erin Burnett Outfront and CNN Tonight with Don Lemon. AC360 was CNN’s No. 1 program in A25-54, followed by CNN Tonight, Outfront, The Situation Room, and the 11 p.m. repeats of AC360.

Over on MSNBC, The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell finished behind Maddow in total viewers, followed by All In with Chris Hayes, Hardball with Chris Matthews and The Place for Politics. Hardball and Politics swap spots if we rank the network’s top five by A25-54.

Lou Dobbs Tonight was Fox Business’ most-watched and top-rated program for the month. Shark Tank was CNBC’s most-watched and top-rated program for the month. It was also cable news’ top-rated program outside of’ “the big three.” Nancy Grace was HLN’s most-watched program, while Morning Express with Robin Meade was its top-rated program in A25-54.


Top Cable News Shows for May 2016 (Total Viewers)

The Top Cable News Programs for May 2016 (A25-54 Demo)