Fox News averaged 2.4 million primetime viewers to finish atop the category for the third straight month. TNT’s NBA-playoff heavy schedule finished second, averaging 1.8 million viewers between 8-11 p.m. MSNBC, HGTV and ESPN round out the top five.
Among total day viewers, Fox News also finished No. 1 for the tenth straight month, averaging 1.5 million viewers compared to 1.1 million for second place Nickelodeon. No other cable networks surpassed the one-million viewer average for the month as HGTV MSNBC, and TNT round out the top five.
April marks the 184-straight month that Fox News has beaten cable news rivals CNN and MSNBC. April was quite a month for Fox News, as the network parted ways with its biggest star, Bill O’Reilly, and co-president Bill Shine amid on-going sexual harassment allegations.
The shakeup atop Fox News hasn’t turned away viewers. The network grew 36 percent among total day viewers compared to April of 2016, which was well before former anchor Gretchen Carlson came forward with sexual harassment allegations against founding CEO Roger Ailes.
MSNBC saw a slight ratings boost in its primetime shows from last quarter's averages. The network averaged 1,564,000 total viewers between 8-11 p.m., including 359,000 total viewers between 25 and 54. The network also posted an 82% increase in primetime viewers over last April.
Rachel Maddow's show remained the biggest draw for the network's primetime lineup. The left-leaning host's 9 p.m. show averaged 2.4 million total viewers last month, including 562,000 total viewers in the 25-54 age demographic, higher than Fox's 9 p.m. slot occupied by Tucker Carlson for part of the month and the new cast of "The Five" for the final week of April.
The late-night ratings battle between Stephen Colbert and Jimmy Fallon really tightened during The Late Show With Stephen Colbert's 13th consecutive win over the once-dominant Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon — and, even more curious, the latter's demo lead grew to its biggest since January.
For the week of April 24, CBS' Late Show averaged 2.74 million viewers. That's a mere 2 percent (just 67,000 viewers) above NBC's Tonight, making for Colbert's narrowest margin of victory since his streak kicked off in January. The gap between Late Show and Tonight has fluctuated greatly since then, with Colbert once averaging as many as 400,000 more viewers than Fallon, but it's rarely been this tight.
Simultaneously, Fallon's latest week saw his biggest victory among adults 18-49 since the start of Colbert's audience streak — one that not-so-coincidentally started with the inauguration of President Donald Trump. Tonight outperformed Late Show by a whopping 50 percent, with the former averaging a 0.66 rating in the key demo to latter's 0.44 rating. The last time Tonight had that much of an advantage was at the top of the year.