These Are the Top-Rated Cable News Shows for Q4 2022

By A.J. Katz 

New quarter, familiar finish: The Five is the most-watched show on cable news.

According to live-plus-same-day data from Nielsen, Fox News’ panel talk program averaged the most total viewers of any cable news show in the final quarter of 2022, marking back-to-back fourth quarters and an impressive five consecutive quarters at No. 1. That’s no small feat for a show that airs weekdays outside of primetime, during rush hour no less.

Cable news’ most-watched show hauled in an average of 3.41 million total viewers per original broadcast in Q4, slightly down from Q3 2022 (3.295 million viewers). Tucker Carlson Tonight took second place, averaging 3.19 million total viewers in Q4 (up from 3.15 million in Q3), followed by Jesse Watters Primetime at 7 p.m. (up to 2.905 million from 2.73 million) Hannity at 9 p.m. (up to 2.76 million from 2.68 million), and Special Report with Bret Baier (2.53 million down from 2.34 million) once again rounding out the top five in average total viewers.


The 13 most watched cable news shows of the quarter were all Fox News shows. The Last Word With Lawrence O’Donnell came in at No. 14 (1.5 million), while MSNBC’s Alex Wagner Tonight tumbled to No. 18 in Q4 (1.4 million).

The Lead with Jake Tapper was CNN’s most-watched show in Q4, averaging just 804,000 total viewers from 4-6 p.m. (No. 25 overall).

Below, the full cable news show ranker sorted by average total viewers:

Q4 ’22 (Total Viewers)

How about the top cable news shows among adults 25-54? After all, this is a demographic that advertisers of news often focus their millions of ad dollars on.

Fox News is home to the top 15 shows in the key demo for Q4, which was also true in Q3. The network was led in the measurement once again by Tucker Carlson Tonight (4445,000).

The top 10 cable news shows among adults 25-54 for the quarter are the same as the top 10 show in total viewers, with some differences in order. Tucker Carlson Tonight is No. 1 in the A25-54 demo, but No. 2 in total viewers; The Five is No. 2 in the demo, but No. 1 in total viewers; Hannity and Jesse Watters Primetime swap spots at No. 3 and No. 4; Gutfeld! is No. 5 in the demo, but No. 7 in total viewers. Outnumbered, America’s Newsroom and The Faulkner Focus rank No. 8, No. 9 and No. 10, both in total viewers and in A25-54, respectively.

CNN’s Erin Burnett Outfront (179,000) was the top-rated non-Fox cable news show among adults 25-54 during Q4, ranking No. 16. overall. Fellow 7 p.m. offering The ReidOut was MSNBC’s top-rated show in the demo in Q4, ranking No. 20 with a 151,000 viewer average. CNN and MSNBC regularly scheduled primetime programming struggled in the latter stages of 2022.

Q4 ’22 (Adults 25-54)