The Top Cable News Programs of August 2018 Are…

By A.J. Katz Comment

Hannity was the No. 1 cable news program for the month of August, the show’s fifth consecutive month in the No. 1 spot.

But he sure didn’t win by much.

In fact, MSNBC is claiming that The Rachel Maddow Show is actually No. 1 across cable news among adults 25-54. But, as we noted in the story from earlier today, per Nielsen data, TRMS did not actually beat Hannity. When Jeanine Pirro hosts Hannity, those broadcasts are labeled “Hannity Special.” If one takes the “Special” broadcasts into account, then yes, Maddow does win. But Nielsen does not count the ratings for those “Hannity Special” broadcasts towards the ratings for Hannity. This means Hannity consequently comes out on top across the board.

Maddow, like Hannity, was out on multiple Fridays in August, with Ali Velshi and Ari Melber filling in on those nights. But despite having done so in the past, MSNBC did not label TRMS as “Special” when Maddow was not at the desk.

We’ll show the rankers at the bottom of the post.

Anyways, here are the top 10 programs across cable news for August 2018, per Nielsen live-plus-same-day data. The entries below include year-over-year performance and number of original broadcasts.

Total Viewers:

  1. Hannity (3,079,000) / +15 percent / 16 telecasts
  2. Rachel Maddow Show (2,882,000) / +4 percent / 20 telecasts
  3. Tucker Carlson Tonight (2,552,000) / +3 percent / 19 telecasts
  4. The Ingraham Angle (2,461,000) / 18 telecasts
  5. The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell (2,229,000) / -5 percent / 19 telecasts
  6. The Five (2,176,000) /  -7 percent / 20 telecasts
  7. Special Report with Bret Baier (2,049,000) / FLAT / 20 telecasts
  8. The Story with Martha MacCallum (1,867,000) / -2 percent / 20 telecasts
  9. All In with Chris Hayes (1,865,000) / FLAT / 20 telecasts
  10. The 11th Hour with Brian Williams (1,712,000) / -5 percent / 20 telecasts

Hannity, Maddow, Carlson all posted year-over-year total audience growth. Bret Baier and Chris Hayes were flat, while the others were down in total viewers. The Ingraham Angle did not exist in August 2017.

Adults 25-54:

  1. Hannity (582,000) / -1 percent / 16 telecasts
  2. The Rachel Maddow Show (557,000) / -12 percent / 20 telecasts
  3. Tucker Carlson Tonight (483,000) / -6 percent / 19 telecasts
  4. The Ingraham Angle (466,000) / 18 telecasts
  5. Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell (398,000) / -21 percent / 19 telecasts
  6. Cuomo Prime Time (396,000) / 20 telecasts
  7. The Five (396,000) / -23 percent / 20 telecasts
  8. Special Report with Bret Baier (378,000) / -6 percent / 20 telecasts
  9. Anderson Cooper 360 (373,000) / -17 percent / 22 telecasts
  10. The Story with Martha MacCallum (370,000) / -9 percent / 20 telecasts

Each show in the A25-54 top 10 was down year-over-year. The Ingraham Angle did not exist in Aug. 2017.

Finally, the morning cable show race for Aug. 2018.

  • Total Viewers
    • Fox & Friends: 1,408,000 / -5 percent
    • Morning Joe: 1,140,000 / +8 percent
    • CNN New Day: 544,000 / -15 percent
  • Adults 25-54
    • Fox & Friends: 294,000 / -13 percent
    • Morning Joe:  232,000 / -7 percent
    • CNN New Day: 169,000 / -24 percent

Fox & Friends remained No. 1 in the mornings across cable news, though its margin of victory was closer than usual. The program was -5 percent in total viewers and -13 percent in the A25-54 vs. August 2017.

MSNBC’s Morning Joe had its most-watched month in the history of the program, and posted +15 percent growth vs. August 2017. All the more amazing is that this feat was accomplished despite the fact that Mika & Joe weren’t in the studio together all that often.

That said, the MSNBC morning program was -7 percent among adults 25-54.

New Day had a rough month relative to August 2017. The program was -15 percent in total viewers and -24 percent in the A25-54 demo.

 

Cable News Ranker: Aug. 2018 (Total Viewers)

 

Cable News Ranker: Aug. 2018 (A25-54)

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