The Top Cable News Programs of May 2018

By A.J. Katz 

Fox News and MSNBC programming dominated the May 2018 cable news rankings.

Hannity was the No. 1 show across cable news for the month of May, averaging nearly 3.3 million total viewers and 650,000 25-54 demo viewers in the 8 p.m. hour. MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show finished a distant second behind Hannity in the key categories, total viewers (2.63 million) and adults 25-54 (531,000). Tucker Carlson Tonight finished No. 3 in total viewers (2.62 million total viewers) and No. 4 in the A25-54 demo (519,000). The Ingraham Angle was No. 4 in total viewers (2.59 million), but actually finished ahead of Carlson in the demo (523,000).

Fox News’s The Five rounded out the top 5 on cable news among total viewers (2.15 million), while MSNBC’s The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell was No. 5 among adults 25-54 (397,000).


Special Report with Bret Baier (2.14 million), The Last Word (2 million), The Story with Martha MacCallum (1.94 million), All in With Chris Hayes (1.7 million) and America’s Newsroom (1.63 million) rounded out the month’s 10-most watched.

Special Report (380,000), The Five (379,000) The Story (379,000), Fox News @ Night with Shannon Bream (354,000) and Fox & Friends (339,000) rounded out the cable news top 10 for May in the key A25-54 demo.

Anderson Cooper 360, CNN Tonight and Erin Burnett Outfront were CNN’s top three programs in total viewers and among the key A25-54 demo.

The cable news morning show race for May 2017:

  • Total Viewers: Fox & Friends (1,575,000); Morning Joe (1,087,000); New Day (584,000)
  • Adults 25-54: Fox & Friends (3339,000); Morning Joe (255,000); New Day (186,000).

Here’s the more expansive cable show ranker for May, sorted by total viewers as well as by adults 25-54.

Cable News Ranker: May 2018 (Total Viewers)

Cable News Ranker: May 2018 (A25-54)