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Home / News / The Industry / Speakership controversy boosts CNN, MSNBC prime-time ratings

Speakership controversy boosts CNN, MSNBC prime-time ratings

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The drama over the election of a new House speaker sparked a 30% rise in CNN’s prime-time viewership and a 7.1% increase for MSNBC, while Fox News Channel experienced a 10.1% decrease, according to live-plus-same-day figures released by Nielsen Tuesday.

CNN averaged 898,000 viewers for its prime-time programming between Jan. 2-8, fifth among cable networks. It averaged 691,000 the week of Jan. 3-9, 2022, 11th for the week.

MSNBC was third for the week, averaging 1.327 million viewers. It averaged 1.239 million the week of Jan. 3-9, 2022, also third for the week.

Fox News Channel averaged 2.026 million viewers, down from the 2.253 million viewers it averaged a year earlier. Fox News Channel finished second behind ESPN both weeks.

Prince Harry’s first American television interview in connection with the release of his memoir “Spare” gave “60 Minutes” its largest audience of the season, 11.215 million viewers, eighth for the week behind three NFL games, three NFL pregame shows, and the ABC-ESPN simulcast of the edition of “SportsCenter” that followed “Monday Night Football,” and most among non-NFL prime-time programs.

The week’s most-watched prime-time program was the ABC-ESPN-ESPN2 simulcast of the Buffalo Bills-Cincinnati Bengals “Monday Night Football” game Jan. 2 which averaged a combined 23.794 million viewers.

Play was suspended after Buffalo safety Damar Hamlin went into cardiac arrest and had to be resuscitated on the field after making a tackle with five minutes, 58 seconds remaining in the first quarter.

With “Sunday Night Football” drawing its largest audience since its season opener, NBC was the most-watched network for the 13th time in the 16-week-old 2022-23 television season, averaging 6.14 million viewers.

Two NFL games enabled ABC to average a season-high 5.23 million viewers, with its first second-place finish since the season’s first week. ABC has finished third among the broadcast networks seven times and fourth seven times.

CBS was third, averaging 4.77 million viewers. Its only prime-time NFL programming was a 34-minute runover of its afternoon coverage into prime time which averaged 14.5 million viewers. The runover is not considered a separate program, but is included in the weekly average.

The Detroit Lions’ playoff-clinching 20-16 victory over the Green Bay Packers on “Sunday Night Football” averaged 22.251 million viewers, second for the week. The total audience, which includes streaming viewership on Peacock, NBC Sports and NFL digital platforms, was 23.6 million viewers, its most-watched finale in six years, according to Nielsen and Adobe Analytics figures.

NBC’s most-watched non-NFL program was “Chicago Fire,” 13th for the week averaging 7.058 million viewers, fourth among non-NFL programs and third among entertainment programs.

NBC had the most-watched of the week’s four premieres, “America’s Got Talent: All-Stars,” which averaged 5.272 million viewers, 24th for the week, 14th among non-NFL programs and 13th among entertainment programs.

ABC’s most-watched non-NFL program was “The Rookie,” 27th for the week averaging 4.691 million viewers, 17th among non-NFL programs and 16th among entertainment programs.

ABC’s lone premiere, the crime drama “Will Trent,” was 39th for the week, averaging 3.61 million viewers, 28th among non-NFL programs, 27th among entertainment programs, second in its 10 p.m. time slot Jan. 3 and fifth among entertainment programs beginning at 10 p.m.

The CBS crime drama “FBI” was the most-watched entertainment program for the fourth time in the season, averaging 7.591 million viewers, 11th for the week and second among non-NFL programs.

CBS’ “Young Sheldon” was the most-watched comedy for 11th time, averaging 7.428 million viewers, 12th for the week, third among non-NFL programs and second among entertainment programs. Each of the show’s nine first- run episodes have been their week’s most-watched comedy.

“Fire Country” was the most-watched first-season program for the eighth time, averaging 6.57 million viewers, 15th for the week, sixth among non-NFL programs and fifth among entertainment programs. The audience was the largest among the CBS drama’s nine episodes, surpassing the 6 million mark for the first time.

Fox averaged 2.7 million viewers for its 15 hours of prime-time programming, topped by its 22-minute NFL postgame show, “The OT,” which averaged 9.844 million viewers, eighth for the week.

The average included a 38-minute runover of its afternoon NFL coverage into prime time in the Eastern and Central time zones. The viewership for the runover was not available.

Fox’s most-watched non-NFL program was the premiere of the procedural drama “Alert: Missing Persons Unit” which averaged 4.029 million viewers following “The OT,” 34th for the week, 22nd among non-NFL programs and 21st among entertainment programs.

Fox’s other premiere, “Special Forces: World’s Toughest Test,” averaged 2.062 million viewers, 61st among broadcast programs. The overall ranking was not available for the alternative series where celebrities participate in challenges from the special forces selection process.

The CW averaged 340,000 viewers for its 14 hours of programming. Its most-watched program was the Friday rerun of the magic competition series “Penn & Teller: Fool Us,” which averaged 589,000 viewers, 161st among broadcast programs. Its overall ranking was not available.

The 20 most-watched prime-time programs consisted of three NFL games; five NFL pregame shows; two NFL postgame shows; “60 Minutes”; six CBS entertainment series episodes; and the three elements of NBC’s “Chicago” franchise, “Chicago Fire,” “Chicago Med” and “Chicago P.D.”

Two NFL games made ESPN the most-watched cable network for the fourth consecutive week and ninth time in 11 weeks, averaging 2.592 million viewers.

The cable top 20 consisted two NFL games, one NFL pregame show and one NFL postgame show, which also were simulcast by ABC; 12 Fox News Channel weeknight political talk shows (five broadcasts of “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” four of “Hannity” and three of “The Ingraham Angle”); the Hallmark Channel movie “The Wedding Veil Expectations”; History’s long-running chronicle of a search for treasure on a Canadian island, “The Curse of Oak Island”; and two editions of the MSNBC news and opinion program, “All In with Chris Hayes.”

ESPN’s afternoon coverage of Penn State’s 35-21 victory over Utah in the Rose Bowl Jan. 2 averaged 10.187 million viewers, 36.3% less than the 15.992 million average for Ohio State’s 48-45 victory over Utah in the Rose Bowl on New Year’s Day 2022.

The second season of “Ginny & Georgia” ended “Wednesday’s” six-week streak as Netflix’s most-watched television program, with viewers spending 180.47 million hours on the 10 episodes in the first four days they were available, according to figures released by the streaming service Tuesday.

“Kaleidoscope” was second with 112.32 million hours watched of its eight episodes Jan. 2-8, the first full week they were available. The heist drama was released Jan. 1.

“Wednesday” was third with 81.34 million hours watched, 31.4% less than the 118.54 million hours watched the previous week.

“Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery” was Netflix’s most-watched film for the second consecutive week, with viewers watching for 44.32 million hours, 65.2% less than the 127.25 million hours the previous week, its first full week of release.

The most-watched Spanish-language program was the Thursday edition of the Univision telenovela “La Madrastra,” which averaged 1.694 million viewers, 66th among broadcast programs. Its overall rank was not available.

Univision was the most-watched Spanish-language network for the 22nd consecutive week and 160th time in 162 weeks, averaging 1.28 million viewers. Telemundo was second, averaging 880,000 viewers, followed by UniMas (430,000), and Estrella TV (70,000).

ABC’s “World News Tonight with David Muir” was the most-watched nightly newscast for 161st time in 162 weeks and 213th time in 215 weeks, averaging 9.264 million viewers for its Tuesday through Friday editions. “NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt” was second, averaging 7.743 million viewers for its Tuesday through Friday newscasts.

The “CBS Evening News with Norah O’Donnell” was third, averaging 5.644 million viewers.

The week’s 10 most-watched prime-time programs were the ABC-ESPN-ESPN2 simulcast of the Buffalo Bills-Cincinnati Bengals “Monday Night Football” game; NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” game between the Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers; the ABC-ESPN simulcast of Saturday’s Jacksonville Jaguars-Tennessee Titans game; the 10-minute “Sunday Night Football” pre-kickoff show; the ABC-ESPN simulcast of the edition of “SportsCenter” that followed the Buffalo-Cincinnati game; the 19-minute third segment of NBC’s “Football Night in America”; the 15-minute kickoff show preceding the Jacksonville- Tennessee game; “60 Minutes”; Fox’s 22-minute NFL postgame show, “The OT”; and the 13-minute “Monday Night Football” kickoff show.

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