Rachel Maddow’s revealing interview with Lev Parnas — a key figure in the impeachment of Donald Trump — drew the show’s biggest audience ever on MSNBC Wednesday night, with 4.5 million viewers tuning in at 9 p.m. The interview on “The Rachel Maddow Show,” during which Parnas was accompanied by his lawyer, had been announced earlier on Wednesday. It was Parnas’s first television interview about his involvement in the Ukraine scandal.
“Maddow” was the most-watched show on cable Wednesday, beating Fox News’ “Hannity” (3.7 million viewers). The program drew 844,000 viewers in the the key news demographic of adults 25 to 54. The program had a halo effect for MSNBC, with both “The Last Word With Lawrence O’Donnell” at 10 p.m. and “The 11th Hour With Brian Williams” finishing first in their time periods.
More from Variety
- TV Networks Put Harder Sell Behind Hard News as 2020 Election Draws Closer (EXCLUSIVE)
- TV News Outlets Shift Schedules to Cover U.S. Attack on Iran Official
- MSNBC and Washington Post Air Strong, Substantial Democratic Debate (Column)
During the interview, Parnas, who has served as a fixer for Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, made a series of claims — as of yet unsubstantiated — about the events that led up to Trump being impeached. He implicated Giuliani, Vice President Mike Pence, former national security adviser John Bolton and attorney general William Barr in Trump’s alleged attempts to pressure Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky into investigating former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden.
“Maddow” finished 2019 in third place in the cable news show rankings — behind Fox News’ “Hannity” and “Tucker Carlson Tonight” — with a nightly average of 2.8 million total viewers, 463,000 of whom were in the 25 to 54 demo.
Part 2 of the Parnas interview airs on Thursday’s “Maddow.”
Best of Variety
- Oscars 2020 Predictions: Who Will Get Nominated?
- The Best Music Books of 2019 (a Lot of Them, Anyway)
- The Best TV Performances of the Decade