The Top Cable News Shows of April 2019

By A.J. Katz Comment

Sean Hannity was the most popular cable news host–both among total viewers and key A25-54 demo– for the second consecutive April, and the most-watched cable news host for the third consecutive month.

Hannity topped cable news by averaging 3.1 million total viewers and 514,000 A25-54 demo viewers in April, more than any other cable news show.

Tucker Carlson moved past Rachel Maddow in April, averaging more than 2.83 million total viewers and 499,000 demo viewers, No. 2 across the board among all of cable news.

Carlson had arguably the most successful month of any top-rated show on cable news (from a ratings perspective, of course), if you look at the combination of audience growth and overall ranking.

Hannity and Carlson’s shows averaged more total viewers in April than TNT’s NBA Playoffs coverage (though neither program could match TNT’s early round coverage in the younger, ad-friendly demos).

Fox News was home to seven of the 10-most-watched cable news shows of the month, including America’s Newsroom, which scored a spot in the top 10 thanks in part to FNC’s highly-rated live, daytime coverage of the Mueller report findings.

MSNBC was home to the other three of the 10-most-watched cable news shows for April. Following Hannity and Carlson was Maddow, whose program was -13 percent in total viewers vs. what the show delivered in April 2018.

Rounding out the top five in total viewers were The Ingraham Angle (-2 percent) and The Five, which actually posted +10 percent year-over-year growth in the category.

Cuomo Prime Time continued its streak as CNN’s top-rated regularly-scheduled show for April. It finished No. 15 across cable news in the key demo, and No. 26 in total viewers. On the downside, the show had its lowest-rated month since launch.

Total Viewers: (vs. April 2018)

  1.  Hannity: 3,086,000/ 17 telecasts / -5%
  2. Tucker Carlson Tonight: 2,834,000 /  19 telecasts / +9%
  3. The Rachel Maddow Show: 2,630,000/  20 telecasts  / -13%
  4.  The Ingraham Angle: 2,455,000 / 18 telecasts / -2%
  5.  The Five:  2,398,000 / 20 telecasts /  +10%
  6.  The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell:  2,081,000/ 20 telecasts / -10%
  7.  Special Report with Bret Baier: 2,043,000 / 20 telecasts / -8%
  8.  The Story with Martha MacCallum: 1,811,000 / 20 telecasts / -8%
  9.  America’s Newsroom:  1,609,000 /  61 telecasts / -1%
  10.  All in with Chris Hayes: 1,547,000 / 20 telecasts / -20%

Cable News Ranker: April 2019 (Total Viewers)

While two of the top 10-most-watched cable news shows of the month managed to post year-over-year growth in total viewers, and two others showed minimal losses (The Ingraham Angle and America’s Newsroom), cable news continues to lose adults 25-54.

In fact, each of the 10-most-watched cable news shows in the demo for April were down from what each delivered in April 2018. Some were WAY down year-over-year in the demo, yet still managed to earn a top 10 ranking.

The top five cable news shows for April in total viewers also happened to be the top five in the key A25-54 demo. Special Report and The Story moved past The Last Word, perhaps aided by the highly-rated Bernie Sanders town hall.

The Last Word, however, remained in the top 10, finishing the month at No. 8.

Lastly, Fox & Friends and Fox News @ Night with Shannon Bream moved past America’s Newsroom and All in With Chris Hayes to round out the cable news top 10 in the demo.

Adults 25-54: (vs. April 2018)

  1. Hannity: 514,000 / 17 telecasts / -24%
  2. Tucker Carlson Tonight: 499,000 /  19 telecasts / -3%
  3. The Rachel Maddow Show: 427,000 /  20 telecasts  / -33%
  4.  The Ingraham Angle: 410,000 / 18 telecasts / -24%
  5.  The Five: 380,000 / 20 telecasts /  -5%
  6.  Special Report with Bret Baier: 353,000 / 20 telecasts / -12%
  7.  The Story with Martha MacCallum: 323,000 / 20 telecasts / -17%
  8. The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell: 308,000 / 20 telecasts / -36%
  9.  Fox & Friends: 289,000 / 60 telecasts / -13%
  10.  Fox News @ Night with Shannon Bream: 284,000 / 20 telecasts / -22%

Cable News Ranker: April 2019 (Adults 25-54)

Cable news morning show ratings: April 2019 (Nielsen live-plus-same-day data)

Total Viewers / A25-54

  • Fox & Friends : 1,462,000 / 289,000
  • Morning Joe: 1,036,000/ 172,000
  • New Day: 452,000 / 136,000

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