Before this month, that had never happened before. Ever.
Fox News Channel host Tucker Carlson closed out television’s second quarter with one for the record books: his Tucker Carlson Tonight finished the quarter as the highest-rated program in all of cable news for the first time since the show’s launch, delivering an average total audience of 4.331 million viewers. In the process, Carlson broke a record held by his colleague, Sean Hannity, for the highest-rated quarter of any cable news program—ever.
It was a solid quarter for the network, which finished in first place across all of cable television for the first time in the network’s history, beating out all basic cable networks among total viewers and viewers 25-54, the demographic group most valued by national advertisers.
Some of those advertisers announced during the quarter that they would pull advertising from Carlson’s show after remarks the host made about the Black Lives Matter movement, but FNC viewers did not follow suit, instead lifting Tucker Carlson Tonight to a record high, breaking a previous record set in the first quarter of 2020 by FNC’s Hannity.
Each of the network’s evening and prime-time shows averaged their largest audiences for a quarter ever, including The Ingraham Angle at 10 p.m. Additionally, Outnumbered Overtime with Harris Faulkner (1 p.m.), The Daily Briefing with Dana Perino (2 p.m.), and the network’s Saturday prime-time slate of Watters World, Justice with Judge Jeanine, and the Greg Gutfeld Show were other Fox News shows that set records in total viewership and adults 25-54 viewership.
For the week, the star power of Hannity and Carlson in the conservative firmament lifted Fox to heights it had never reached. Each host had four shows among Nielsen’s top 20 last week, led by Hannity’s Thursday night interview with President Donald Trump.
Despite putting on a well-received show and simulcasting on CBS for the first time, Sunday’s showing of the “BET Awards” had a relatively disappointing 3.7 million viewers.
NBC was second among the broadcast networks with an average of 3.2 million viewers in prime time. ABC had 2.9 million, Univision had 1.5 million, Fox had 1.4 million, ION Television had 1.2 million and Telemundo had 860,000
After Fox News, MSNBC was second among cable networks with an average of 2.07 million viewers in prime time. CNN had 1.62 million, HGTV had 1.27 million and TLC had 1.18 million.
⏩ Top 20 prime-time television shows, their networks and Total Viewers:
1. “America’s Got Talent,” NBC, 8.72 million.
2. “60 Minutes,” CBS, 7.89 million.
3. “NCIS,” CBS, 5.68 million.
4. “Celebrity Family Feud,” ABC, 5.56 million.
5. “Hannity” (Thursday), Fox News, 5.12 million.
6. “Young Sheldon,” CBS, 4.84 million.
7. “FBI,” CBS, 4.71 million.
8. “Hannity” (Monday), Fox News, 4.48 million.
9. “Hannity” (Wednesday), Fox News, 4.38 million.
10. “Tucker Carlson Tonight” (Tuesday), Fox News, 4.27 million.
11. “Tucker Carlson Tonight” (Thursday), Fox News, 4.253 million.
12. “Tucker Carlson Tonight” (Monday), Fox News, 4.247 million.
13. “America’s Funniest Home Videos,” ABC, 4.23 million.
14. “Tucker Carlson Tonight” (Wednesday), Fox News, 4.184 million.
15. “Hannity” (Tuesday), Fox News, 4.182 million.
16. “The Neighborhood,” CBS, 4.15 million.
17. “World of Dance,” NBC, 4.1 million.
18. “FBI: Most Wanted,” CBS, 4.01 million.
19. “Titan Games,” NBC, 3.882 million.
20. “Holey Moley,” ABC, 3.88 million.
“World News Tonight” led the evening newscasts with an average of 8.9 million viewers, NBC’s “Nightly News” had 7.5 million and the “CBS Evening News” had 5.3 million.