Week of Nov. 8 Basic Cable Ranker: Fox News Marks 39 Consecutive Weeks at No. 1 in Total Day, But Sheds Viewers From Prior Week

By A.J. Katz 

According to live-plus-same-day data from Nielsen, Fox News Channel averaged 1.50 million total viewers in total day during the week of Nov. 8, making it the most-watched basic cable network in the Monday-Sunday 6 a.m.-6 a.m. time period for the 39th consecutive week. The network also averaged 245,000 adults 25-54 in total day, No. 2 on basic cable behind ESPN.

Relative to the previous week (Nov. 1, ’21), FNC lost -9% in average total day viewers and -12% in total day adults 25-54. We’ll explain why shortly.

In primetime, Fox News averaged 2.42 million total viewers (No. 2 on basic cable, behind ESPN) and 380,000 adults 25-54 (No. 3 on basic cable, behind ESPN and TBS) last week. That’s -14% in average total viewers and -16% among adults 25-54 from what the network averaged in those two measurements the prior week. What happened here? Well, the week-to-week viewership drop makes sense because the network’s primetime (and late-night) coverage of the gubernatorial elections in Virginia and New Jersey last Tuesday, Nov. 2 attracted larger than usual audiences.


That said, Fox News averaged more viewers than CNN and MSNBC combined for the 13th straight week.

On the programming front, The Five regained its status as the most-watched show on cable news for the week of Nov. 8, averaging 3.28 million viewers and 490,000 adults 25-54. Tucker Carlson Tonight dropped back to second place in average total viewers (3.27 million) but finished No. 1 on cable news among adults 25-54 (537,000). Hannity finished third in average total viewers (2.85 million) followed by Special Report with Bret Baier (2.52 million) and The Ingraham Angle (2.23 million) rounding out the top 5 in average total viewers. Fox News had 14 of the 15-most-watched shows on cable news of the week, including the top six. MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show rose to No. 7 in average total viewers (1.975 million), after tumbling to No. 10 the week before.

The aforementioned MSNBC averaged 1.16 million total primetime viewers (No. 4 on basic cable), and 138,000 adults 25-54 in prime time (No. 28 on basic cable) this past week. That’s +2% growth in average total viewers but a -14% drop-off in the key A25-54 demo from what the network drew in primetime the previous week. MSNBC’s week-to-week drop in the demo was expected. MSNBC, like Fox and CNN, traditionally draw more younger/casual news viewers than usual for when there’s special election coverage, and the previous week featured the aforementioned gubernatorial elections. MSNBC also averaged 682,000 total viewers in the 6 a.m.-6 a.m. total day daypart (No. 4 overall), but only 77,000 adults 25-54 (No. 30 overall) this past week. That’s +4% in total viewers but -3% in the A25-54 demo.

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

Speaking of CNN, the network averaged 632,000 total viewers in prime time (No. 12 on basic cable) and 483,000 in total day (No. 6 on basic cable) during the week of Nov. 8. When it came to adults 25-54, the network averaged 142,000 viewers in primetime (No. 26) and 107,000 in total day (No. 12 on basic cable). Without a significant breaking news event to cover in primetime, CNN fell by -13% in average total primetime viewers and -18% in the primetime demo from the previous week. The network also dropped -2% in total day viewers and -4% in the total day demo from the network’s average the previous week.

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

Week of Nov. 8, 2021 cable news ratings, Monday-Sunday (Nielsen live-same-day data):

• Total Viewers: 1,500,000 682,000 483,000
• A25-54: 245,000 77,000 107,000




• Total Viewers: 2,419,000 1,160,000 632,000
• A25-54: 380,000 138,000 142,000




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. 8 (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. 8 (Adults 25-54)