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Fox News Channel finished as the basic cable most-watched network during the month of May as “The Five” finished as the No. 1 cable news program during the busy month that featured the ongoing war in Ukraine, information and analysis of all-things politics and breaking news coverage of the tragic Uvalde, Texas school shooting.
It was Fox News’ second highest-rated May in network history, finishing behind only May 2020 when coronavirus dominated the news cycle in the early stages of the pandemic.
Fox News averaged 1.5 million total viewers compared to 634,000 for MSNBC and only 500,000 for CNN as Fox News gained 23% compared to last year while MSNBC and CNN were both down double digits. Fox News also crushed the competition among the advertiser-coveted demographic of adults age 25-54, averaging 229,000 compared to 106,000 for CNN and a dismal 70,000 for MSNBC.
During the primetime hours of 8-11 p.m., Fox News averaged 2.3 million viewers while MSNBC managed one million and CNN settled for only 660,000. The primetime thumping allowed Fox News to continue its 10-month stream of outdrawing MSNBC and CNN combined across the board among both weekday total viewers and the key demo.
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“The Five”” averaged 3.3 million viewers to finish May as the most-watched program on cable news to win the ratings title despite airing well before the primetime hours that historically draw a larger audience. “The Five” has now accomplished the historical victory for five of the past six months.
“Tucker Carlson Tonight” averaged 3.2 million viewers to finish second, followed by “Hannity,” “Jesse Waters Primetime” and “Special Report with Bret Baier” as Fox News landed 14 of the 15 most-watched cable news programs.
“The Ingraham Angle” namesake Laura Ingraham averaged 2.3 million viewers to finish as the most-watched solo female host in cable news.
MSNBC’s most-watched show was “The Rachel Maddow Show,” which only airs on Mondays because its namesake host wants to focus on other projects. Maddow’s coveted 9 p.m. ET timeslot is now occupied by “MSNBC Prime” on Tuesday through Friday, but the program with rotating hosts averaged only 1.1 million viewers to fall significantly short of Maddow’s two-million viewer average.
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MSNBC finished with its smallest monthly audience among total demo since November 1999 and its lowest-rated month among the primetime demo since May 2004. Along the way, MSNBC shed a staggering 48% of its primetime audience among the key demo compared to May 2021. But Maddow’s decision to only work once a week wasn’t the only thing dragging MSNBC down as Joy Reid’s “ReidOut” had its smallest audience since the program was launched among both total viewers and the demo.
CNN’s most watched show was “Anderson Cooper 360,” which averaged 759,000 viewers to finish No. 25 overall among cable news offerings.
“Gutfeld!” averaged over two million viewers to outdraw anything MSNBC or CNN had to offer despite airing at 11 p.m. ET, and it even topped ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” and NBC’s “The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon” among total viewers.
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“FOX & Friends” averaged 1.4 million viewers to crush MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” and CNN’s long-struggling “New Day” combined, finishing as the No. 1 morning program on cable news for the 14th straight month.
“Outnumbered,” America’s Newsroom with Bill Hemmer and Dana Perino,” “The Faulkner Focus,” “America Reports with John Roberts and Sandra Smith,” “The Story with Martha MacCallum” and “Your World with Neil Cavuto” all had strong months to help Fox News dominate the cable news landscape, too.
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“Unfiltered with Dan Bongino” was the most watched program on Saturdays, while “Sunday Morning Futures with Maria Bartiromo” took home the Sunday crown.
“Tucker Carlson Tonight” averaged 522,000 viewers among the advertiser-coveted demo to finish as the most-popular show in the critical category, as Fox News programs swept the top 15.
All data courtesy of Nielsen Media Research.