Week of Nov. 29 Basic Cable Ranker: Fox News Improves to No. 1 in Total Primetime Viewers

By A.J. Katz 

According to live-plus-same-day data from Nielsen, Fox News Channel averaged 1.49 million total viewers in total day during the week of Nov. 29, making it the most-watched basic cable network in the Monday-Sunday 6 a.m.-6 a.m. time period for the 42nd consecutive week. The network also averaged 245,000 adults 25-54 in total day, No. 2 on basic cable only behind ESPN (327,000).

FNC grew by +14% in average total day viewers and +12% in adults 25-54 from the previous week, which ended up being a relatively low-rated one due to the Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday, Nov. 25.

In primetime, Fox News averaged 2.47 million total viewers—No. 1 on basic cable—as well as 375,000 adults 25-54, which is No. 3 on basic cable, behind ESPN (917,000) and Freeform (453,000).


FNC grew by +16% in average total viewers and +14% among adults 25-54 in primetime from the prior week. Additionally, Fox News averaged more viewers than CNN and MSNBC combined for the 16th straight week.

On the programming front, Tucker Carlson Tonight finished No. 1 on cable news, averaging 3.475 total viewers and 571,000 A25-54. The Five finished second in cable news with 3.43 million total viewers and 511,000 in the 25-54 demo. Hannity was third in cable news across the board, with 2.93 million viewers and 466,000 in the 25-54 demo. Special Report with Bret Baier was the fourth most-watched show in cable news with 2.52 million total viewers and 370,000 A25-54. The Ingraham Angle came in fifth, averaging 2.26 million total viewers and 352,000 adults 25-54.

Fox also had 14 of the top 15 cable news shows in total viewers and 15 of the top 16 cable news shows among adults 25-54.

In terms of non-Fox programming, MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show ranked No. 7 in average total viewers (2.07 million) and No. 14 among adults 25-54 (249,000) on cable news this past week. It was the No. 1 non-Fox News show of the week.

The aforementioned MSNBC averaged 1.20 million total primetime viewers (No. 4 on basic cable) and 140,000 adults 25-54 in prime time (No. 24 on basic cable) this past week. That’s +42% in average total viewers and +18% in the key A25-54 demo from what the network drew in prime the previous week. MSNBC also averaged 704,000 total viewers No. 4 overall) and 80,000 adults 25-54 (No. 26 overall) in the 6 a.m.-6 a.m. total day daypart this past week. That’s +21% in total viewers and +13% in the A25-54 demo from the previous week.

MSNBC beat CNN in average total viewers, but came up short when it came to adults 25-54 in primetime and total day.

Speaking of CNN, the network averaged 676,000 total viewers in prime time (No. 15 on basic cable) and 524,000 in total day (No. 5 on basic cable) during the week of Nov. 29. And when it came to adults 25-54, the network averaged 151,000 in primetime (No. 22 ) and 111,000 in total day (No. 16 on basic cable). CNN saw +27% in average total primetime viewers and +26% in the primetime demo from the previous week. The network also improved by +10% in total day viewers and +11% in the total day demo from the previous week.

CNN managed to average more adults 25-54 than MSNBC across the key dayparts. However, it averaged fewer total viewers than MSNBC.

Week of Nov. 29, 2021 cable news ratings, Monday-Sunday (Nielsen live-same-day data):

• Total Viewers: 1,489,000 704,000 524,000
• A25-54: 245,000 80,000 111,000




• Total Viewers: 2,472,000 1,203,000 676,000
• A25-54: 375,000 140,000 151,000




Below, the most-watched basic cable networks for the week. The left column is ranked by most to fewest average total primetime viewers, and the right column is ranked by most to fewest average total viewers across total day (6 a.m-6 a.m.).

Week of Nov. 29 (Total Viewers)

Here’s a second cable network ranker, sorted by most to fewest adults 25-54. The left column is primetime, the right is total day.

Week of Nov. 29 (Adults 25-54)