FNC Finishes Month as the Top-Rated Network in All of Basic Cable in Total Day and Primetime Total Viewers as CNN Sheds 70 Percent of its Audience since January

Network Reclaims Younger 18-49 Demographic in Total Day

“Tucker Carlson Tonight” Remains Most-Watched Cable News Program in Both Categories

NEW YORK – June 2, 2020 – FOX News Channel (FNC) completed the most recent month of May as the most-watched cable network, sweeping the cable news competition in total day and primetime total viewers and in the key 25-54 demographic for the third consecutive month in 2021, according to Nielsen Media Research. In total day, FNC garnered 1.2 million viewers, 203,000 with A25-54 and 120,000 with A18-49 in May. The network also reclaimed the top spot in the A18-49 category for the month. In primetime, FNC delivered 2.2 million viewers, 345,000 in the 25-54 demographic, and 215,000 with A18-49. The network remains the top-rated cable news channel year to date in both total day and primetime viewers. During May, FNC claimed seven of the top 10 cable news programs in overall viewers, the top four in the key 25-54 demo and comprised 59 of the top 100 cable telecasts overall.

Meanwhile, CNN’s primetime lineup shed two-thirds of its audience in total viewers and nearly 75 percent of its viewers in the demo since January. In total day viewers, CNN lost nearly 70 percent of its audience, with a staggering 72 percent drop in the demo since the beginning of the year.

FNC remained the only cable network to deliver over 2 million viewers in primetime, edging out both CNN and Discovery combined from 8-11PM/ET in addition to total day. At 8PM/ET, Tucker Carlson Tonight completed the month as the top-rated program in its timeslot in all categories, averaging 2.9 million viewers and 478,000 in the demo, as well as 298,000 in the 18-49 category. The show crushed several entertainment and news programs on broadcast in total viewers, including ABC’s This Week and The View, NBC’s Meet The Press, as well as the first round of the NBA playoffs airing on ESPN and TNT and the Billboard Music Awards. At 9PM/ET, Hannity earned the second highest-rated spot in all categories with 2.6 million total viewers, 416,000 in the demo and 257,000 among adults 18-49, surpassing MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Show and CNN’s Cuomo Prime Time across the board. The Ingraham Angle at 10PM/ET garnered 2.1 million viewers, 356,000 in the 25-54 demo, 216,000 in 18-49 and rounded out the top five programs in both categories in May. Host Laura Ingraham beat out Maddow as the most-watched woman in cable news in the key demo for the entire month.

Host Greg Gutfeld’s new weekday program Gutfeld! finished its second consecutive month as the number one-rated program in all of cable in total viewers at 11PM/ET. Dominating May Sweeps, the late night comedy program surpassed every CNN program in total viewers as well as various broadcast and cable comedy shows. In Nielsen’s Live+3 measurement, Gutfeld! delivered wins against ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live! and NBC’s The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon in total viewers, averaging 1.7 million and 325,000 with A25-54. Gutfeld! also tops The Tonight Show in total viewers in Live+SD. The show also crushed Comedy Central’s The Daily Show, TBS’ Conan and Full Frontal with Samantha Bee across the board in total viewers and the younger 25-54 demo in both Live+SD and Live+3.

Among FNC’s early and late evening programming, The Five dominated the month during the 5PM/ET hour with 2.6 million viewers and 369,000 in the 25-54 demo. Special Report with Bret Baier was number one in its timeslot (weeknights, 6PM/ET) among total viewers for the month, garnering 1.8 million viewers and 277,000 in the 25-54 demo. At 7PM/ET, FOX News Primetime helmed by rotating guest-hosts averaged 1.6 million viewers and 274,000 in the 25-54 demo throughout May, crushing both CNN’s Erin Burnett OutFront and MSNBC’s The ReidOut. Notably, host Joy Reid delivered the program’s lowest-rated month in both categories since launch. At its new 12AM/ET timeslot, FOX News @ Night with Shannon Bream had an average audience of 796,000 viewers and 166,000 in the 25-54 demo for the month.

From 4-6AM/ET, FOX & Friends FIRST garnered 440,000 viewers during the month of May, while FNC’s signature morning show FOX & Friends (weekdays, 6-9AM/ET) ended the month as the highest-rated cable morning show in both categories. The program earned 1.2 million viewers and 224,000 in the demo, surpassing CNN’s New Day and MSNBC’s Morning Joe across the board. Morning programs on the competing networks continued to struggle as New Day saw its least-watched month of the year in total viewers and the demo, while Morning Joe delivered its lowest-rated month in the demo since 2015.

Two-hour morning news program America’s Newsroom with Bill Hemmer and Dana Perino (weekdays, 9-11AM/ET) was most-watched in its timeslot with 1.4 million viewers and 234,000 in the 25-54 demo, surpassing NBC’s TODAY with Hoda and Jenna on broadcast in total viewers. The Faulkner Focus at 11AM/ET, anchored by Harris Faulkner, notched 1.3 million viewers and 202,000 in the 25-54 demo, capturing a win against the competition in both categories. At 12PM/ET, Outnumbered earned 1.4 million viewers and 210,000 in the demo. From 1-3PM/ET, America Reports with John Roberts and Sandra Smith garnered 1.2 million viewers and 190,000 in the 25-54 demo. Anchor Martha MacCallum’s The Story at 3PM/ET averaged 1.1 million viewers and 176,000 in the 25-54 demo, while Your World with Neil Cavuto following at 4PM/ET nabbed 1.2 million viewers and 192,000 in the 25-54 category for the month.

On the weekends, Saturday’s primetime powerhouse lineup crushed the competition, each sweeping their respective timeslots and beating the cable news competition combined in total viewers and the demo for the month. Watters’ World (Saturdays at 8PM/ET) earned the number one spot in total viewers, with 1.8 million and 224,000 in the demo. Justice with Judge Jeanine (Saturdays at 9PM/ET) followed as the next most-watched, with 1.7 million viewers and 208,000 in the demo. Cavuto Live airing on Saturday mornings earned over 1 million viewers and 181,000 in the demo.

On Sundays, FNC’s Sunday Morning Futures with Maria Bartiromo at 10AM/ET crushed its timeslot, earning the number one program in both total viewers and the demo for the month with 1.5 million and 229,000 in the demo. MediaBuzz, hosted by Howard Kurtz following at 11AM/ET, delivered 1.2 million viewers and 189,000 in the 25-54 demo. Notably, MediaBuzz surpassed CNN’s Reliable Sources in both total viewers and the demo for the month of May. The CNN program notched a new yearly low with its least-watched month to date in 2021 in both categories, failing to crack even one million viewers in May (836,000 P2+; 143,000 A25-54) and losing over half its viewership in both total viewers and in the demo since January. At 8PM/ET, Life Liberty and Levin earned 1.4 million viewers and 166,000 in the demo, while The Next Revolution with host Steve Hilton at 9PM/ET secured 1.1 million viewers and 161,000 in the demo. FOX & Friends Weekend (weekends from 6-10AM/ET) dominated CNN and MSNBC every hour in total viewers during the month, with 1.1 million and 210,000 in the demo.

MAY 2021 VS. MAY 2020 NIELSEN NUMBERS (seven day week, L+SD):

FNC: 1,187,000 total viewers – down 37% (203,000 in 25-54 – down 38%)
CNN: 610,000 total viewers – down 44% (147,000 in 25-54 – down 51%)
MSNBC: 835,000 total viewers – down 28% (108,000 in 25-54 – down 39%)

FNC: 2,166,000 total viewers – down 37% (345,000 in 25-54 – down 38%)
CNN: 913,000 total viewers – down 45% (218,000 in 25-54 – down 53%)
MSNBC: 1,494,000 total viewers – down 22% (199,000 in 25-54 – down 32%)


Total Viewers: Tucker Carlson Tonight (2,937,000), Hannity (2,634,000), The Five (2,631,000), The Rachel Maddow Show (2,520,000), The Ingraham Angle (2,055,000)

Adults 25-54: Tucker Carlson Tonight (478,000), Hannity (416,000), The Five (369,000), The Ingraham Angle (356,000), The Rachel Maddow Show (349,000)

FOX News Channel (FNC) is a 24-hour all-encompassing news service delivering breaking news as well as political and business news. The number one network in cable, FNC has been the most watched television news channel for more than 19 consecutive years. According to a 2021 Brand Keys Consumer Loyalty Engagement Index report, FOX News leads the news industry in both brand loyalty, engagement and expectations. A 2019 Suffolk University poll also named FOX News as the most trusted source for television news or commentary, while a 2019 Brand Keys Emotion Engagement Analysis survey found that FOX News was the most trusted cable news brand. Owned by FOX Corp, FNC is available in nearly 90 million homes and dominates the cable news landscape, routinely notching the top ten programs in the genre.


FOX News Media Contact:

Tess Glancey/212-301-3285