Tucker Carlson Gets Off to a Hot Start Where Fox News Needs It Most

By A.J. Katz 

Fox News has been the most-watched cable news network for nearly 15 years, and is often the No. 1 cable network in prime time. But it’s also no secret that Fox News delivers an older audience than most cable news and entertainment networks, and fell behind CNN last month in the advertiser-friendly A25-54 demo. FNC and CNN are neck and neck in other younger demos, including adults 18-49 and adults 18-34.

But Fox News’s newest addition Tucker Carlson Tonight is giving the network a boost among younger cable news viewers.

The inaugural week of the show significantly outperformed the 2016 averages for Fox News’ previous 7 p.m. program On the Record with Greta Van Susteren, and Brit Hume, who hosted On the Record for two months, from Sept. 6 until the day before the election.

  • Total Viewers:    Carlson: 3.212 M / Hume: 2.286 M / Van Susteren: 1.997 M
  • A25-54 viewers: Carlson: 613,000 /  Hume: 435,000 / Van Susteren: 327,000
  • A18-49 viewers: Carlson: 447,000 / Hume: 301,000 / Van Susteren: 224,000
  • A18-34 viewers: Carlson: 128,000 / Hume: 80,000 / Van Susteren: 61,000

Carlson also defeated 7 p.m. cable news competition Erin Burnett OutFront and Hardball with Chris Matthews combined in all categories, not just total viewers and A25-54, but also younger demos like A18-49 and even A18-34.

The 7 p.m. program averages for the week of Nov. 14:

  • Total Viewers:    FNC: 3.212 M / CNN: 975,000 / MSNBC: 1.125 M
  • A25-54 viewers: FNC: 613,000 / CNN: 285,000  / MSNBC: 216,000
  • A18-49 viewers: FNC: 447,000  / CNN: 240,000 / MSNBC: 149,000
  • A18-34 viewers: FNC: 128,000 / CNN: 83,000 / MSNBC: 43,000

Carlson’s debut week was the third highest-rated week of the year for FNC’s 7 p.m. ET hour, only behind 2016 election week and Republican National Convention coverage. The new program also notched two of the top 25 most-watched cable news telecasts of the week.