For the first time in its history, MSNBC ranked number one in both total viewers and the key adults 25-54 demographic during primetime for a full week among the big three cable news networks, according to Nielsen data.
For the week of May 15, MSNBC averaged 2.44 million viewers with 611,000 in the key demo from 8 p.m.-11 p.m., beating out CNN and Fox News in both measures. In total day viewership for the week, CNN has ranked number one in cable news among adults 25-54 for six straight days (May 14-19), marking the network’s longest winning streak in that measure in six years. Fox News finished first in total viewers with 1.5 million and second in the demo with 321,000. MSNBC was second in total viewers with 1.2 million total viewers and third in the demo with 281,000. CNN finished third in total viewers with 1.05 million but first in the demo with 353,000.
In addition, Fox News ranked number three in primetime in the key demographic for five straight days with 497,000 viewers, the longest streak at number three the network has had in that measure in 17 years, since June 2000. CNN finished second in the demo with 588,000. Fox was second in total viewers, however, with 2.41 million, beating out CNN’s 1.65 million.
Four primetime MSNBC programs were number one for the week in total viewers in their respective time periods: “The Rachel Maddow Show,” “Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell”, “The 11th Hour” and the midnight re-air of “The Rachel Maddow Show.” Maddow had the top ranked non-sports program in all of cable for the week. On CNN, “Anderson Cooper 360” ranked number one in in the demo for five straight days at 8 p.m. This ties for the longest winning streak on record for the show in that timeslot.
MSNBC’s record week comes as repeated scandals have plagued Donald Trump’s administration. First came the report last Tuesday that now former FBI Director James Comey had written in a memo that Trump personally asked him to drop the investigation into possible collusion between Trump’s presidential campaign and Russia. That report was followed closely by another claiming Trump gave away classified information to Russian diplomats during a meeting in the Oval Office. Finally, on Wednesday, the Department of Justice announced that they would appoint former FBI director Robert Mueller as special counsel in charge of the Trump-Russia investigation.