Fox News Tops August Nielsen Numbers And ‘Gutfeld!’ Has Highest-Rated Month; MSNBC Sees Total Viewership Boost Vs. Last Year

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Fox News again topped the monthly ratings, as The Five topped in total viewers and Tucker Carlson Tonight won the adults 25-54 demographic in August.

The network saw a 4% rise in total-day viewership, while it said that its late-night show Gutfeld! saw its highest-rated month since its April 2021 launch, with 2.19 million viewers.

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MSNBC, meanwhile, saw an uptick in its total day and primetime viewers for the month versus last year, while all the major cable news networks saw a fall-off in the demo.

One of the biggest news stories during the month was the FBI search of Mar-a-Lago, driving plenty of Donald Trump commentary on Fox News and MSNBC.

The biggest debut of the month was Alex Wagner Tonight, taking over the 9 PM ET slot from Rachel Maddow on Tuesdays through Fridays. Wagner’s show debuted with 2 million viewers on August 16, but, with a fall-off after that, ended up averaging 1.55 million viewers. That’s slightly below the 1.56 million for MSNBC Prime, the interim show that filled the slot after Maddow went to one night a week earlier this year.

In the 25-54 demo, Alex Wagner Tonight averaged 157,000 vs. 167,000 for MSNBC Prime. Late August traditionally sees somewhat of a viewership dip overall, given pre-Labor Day vacation breathers, so the fall will be a bit of a test, as there’s expectation of an overall viewership boost with interest in the midterm elections. Hannity topped the time slot with an average of 2.92 million viewers and 397,000 in the demo. CNN Tonight averaged 726,000 and 168,000 in the demo.

The Monday edition of The Rachel Maddow Show, meanwhile, was the only non-Fox News show to break the top five in total viewers, averaging 2.73 million. It also was the highest-rated non-Fox News show in the 25-54 demo, averaging 292,000.

Fox News has been promoting the audience for Gutfeld!, and comparing its 2.19 million average viewers in August to that of Late Show with Stephen Colbert, with an average of 2.16 million. There is a caveat: Gutfeld!, which starts at 11 p.m. ET, a half hour earlier than broadcast network late-night shows, actually airs at 8 p.m. in the Pacific time zone. Nevertheless, from a ratings standpoint, the move of Gutfeld! into the 11 p.m. ET slot has paid off for the network, and the show is now in the top five cable news shows among younger viewers.

The August figures are from Nielsen via Fox News.

In primetime, Fox News averaged 2.34 million total viewers, down 6% from the same period in 2021. MSNBC averaged 1.3 million, up 5%, and CNN posted 733,000, down 11%.

In the 25-54 demo, Fox News averaged 311,000, down 22%; followed by CNN with 153,000, down 21%; and MSNBC with 134,000, down 19%.

In total day, Fox News averaged 1.49 million, up 4%; followed by MSNBC with 804,000, up 10%; and CNN at 561,000, down 10%.

In the 25-54 demo, Fox News averaged 211,000, down 12%; followed by CNN with 110,000, down 21%; and MSNBC at 89,000, down 9%.

The Five was the top show among total viewers, averaging 3.39 million, followed by Tucker Carlson Tonight with 3.32 million, Hannity with 2.92 million, Jesse Watters Primetime with 2.86 million and The Rachel Maddow Show at 2.73 million.

In the 25-54 demo, Tucker Carlson Tonight averaged 486,000, followed by The Five with 427,000, Hannity with 397,000, Gutfeld! at 358,000 and The Ingraham Angle with 358,000.

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