Week of June 19 Cable Ranker: Fox News Regains Cable News’ Top Spot in Primetime Demo, Fends Off Challenge From Rivals

By A.J. Katz 

Fox News finished No. 2 in total primetime viewers for the week of June 19, 2023, finishing behind only ESPN, which earned a boost from the College World Series. FNC’s 1.53 million viewer average in primetime is -2% from the week prior (June 12, 2023), but its 160,000 average in the primetime demo is +5% from the week before. In addition to finishing No. 2 on basic cable in total primetime viewers, Fox News ranked No. 11 in the primetime demo.

MSNBC, on the other hand, saw its two-week streak as the top-rated cable news network among Adults 25-54 in primetime come to an end. The network averaged 143,000 A25-54 in the primetime daypart, which is -10% from the prior week and No. 17 among all basic cable networks. MSNBC also averaged 1.31 million total primetime viewers, which is -9% from the week before and No. 3 among all basic cable networks (behind ESPN and Fox News).

Back over to Fox News, in terms of total day viewing, FNC remained No. 1 in total viewers (1.18 million) for the 25th consecutive week, and dropped one spot to No. 2 among Adults 25-54 (143,000). The network gained +7% in total viewers and +10% in the demo from the week prior; a solid performance. MSNBC, on the other hand, averaged 849,000 total day viewers and 99,000 adults 25-54, -7% and -8%, respectively, from the week before.


CNN had a strong week on the Nielsen ratings front, posting its second most-watched week of 2023 to-date (in total day viewers). The network’s viewer growth was aided by a plethora of breaking news stories, including, but not limited to the Titanic-bound submersible implosion and the short-lived Wagner Rebellion in Russia. The network averaged 696,000 total primetime viewers (No. 6 on basic cable), 159,000 Adults 25-54 in primetime (only -7,000 behind Fox and No. 12 on basic cable), 579,000 total day viewers (No. 4 on basic cable and 102,000 A25-54 in total day (No. 3 on basic cable) this past week. That’s +6%, +20%, +14% and +28% from the previous week, giving CNN the most week-to-week growth on cable news.

How did the big three cable newsers fare relative to the year-ago week (June 20, 2022)? Fox News continues to slide. The network dropped -30% in total primetime viewers, -46% in the primetime demo, -17% in total day viewers and -33% in the total day demo. After a number of strong weeks, MSNBC saw year-over-year losses as well. The network shed -10% in total primetime viewers, -12% in the primetime demo, -6% in total day viewers and -7% in the total day demo. CNN, on the other hand, trended in a positive direction. The network gained +6% in total primetime viewers, +20% in the primetime demo, +2% in total day viewers and +13% in the total day demo vs. the year-ago week. Good news for a network that could certainly use some.

Week of June 19 cable news ratings, Monday-Sunday (Nielsen live-same-day data):

• Total Viewers: 1,530,000 1,309,000 696,000
• A25-54: 166,000 143,000 159,000




• Total Viewers: 1,183,000 849,000 579,000
• A25-54: 143,000 99,000 131,000




The Five is the No. 1 show on cable news for the ninth consecutive week, averaging 2.69 million total viewers at 5 p.m. for the week of June 19.

Fox News had eight of the 10 most-watched cable news shows of the week, including the top seven. Jesse Watters Primetime secured second place with a 2.22 million viewer average at 7 p,m., followed by a Trump interview-boosted Special Report with Bret Baier (2.09 million at 6 p.m.), Hannity (2 million at 9 p.m.), The Ingraham Angle (1.72 million at 10 p.m.), Fox News Tonight (1.68 million at 8 p.m.), Gutfeld! (1.67 million at 11 p.m.), MSNBC’s The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell (1.66 million at 10 p.m.), Outnumbered (1.55 million at 12 p.m.), and Deadline: White House with Nicolle Wallace (1.5 million from 4-6 p.m.) rounding out the top 10.

Fox News has the top six cable news shows of the week among Adults 25-54.

In addition to being No. 1 in total viewers, The Five is also No. 1 on cable news in the demo, averaging 285,000 from the measurement at 5 p.m. Gutfeld! rises to No. 2 in the demo (252,000), followed by Hannity (238,000), Special Report with Bret Baier (227,000), Jesse Watters Primetime (218,000), The Ingraham Angle (216,000).

No.’s 7-10 are all CNN programming: Anderson Cooper 360 (212,000, No. 1 at 8 p.m.), Erin Burnett Outfront (196,000 at 7 p.m.), CNN Primetime (188,000 from 10 p.m.-12 a.m.) and The Lead with Jake Tapper (186,000 from 4-6 p.m.) round out the top 10.

Lastly, below are the basic cable network rankers — sorted by average total viewers followed by A25-54.