The political talk shows hosted by Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson the evening of former special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s testimony to two House committees drew cable television’s two largest prime-time audiences last week with both making the overall Top 10, according to live-plus-same-day figures released Tuesday by Nielsen.
The “Hannity” episode that aired last Wednesday averaged 4.767 million viewers, first among cable programs and sixth overall among prime-time programs airing between July 22 and Sunday. The “Tucker Carlson Tonight” episode that preceded “Hannity” was second among cable programs and 10th overall, averaging 4.3 million viewers.
Fox News Channel had each of the week’s five most-watched prime-time cable programs to be the most-watched cable network in prime time for the ninth consecutive week, averaging 2.73 million viewers, 10.2% higher than its 2.478-million average the previous week.
Fox News Channel topped the combined audience of its two main cable news rivals, MSNBC, which averaged 1.543 million, and CNN, 13th among cable networks in prime time, averaging 781,000.
MSNBC was second among cable networks for the ninth consecutive week despite a 4.2% drop from its 1.61 million average the previous week.
MSNBC’s most-watched program was last Wednesday’s “The Rachel Maddow Show,” 13th among cable programs and 37th overall, averaging 2.977 million viewers opposite “Hannity.”
HGTV finished third for the second consecutive week and third time in four weeks, averaging 1.267 million viewers, 0.8% higher than its 1.257 million average the previous week.
NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” averaged its largest audience since June 25, 10.128 million viewers, to be the most-watched prime-time program for the fifth time in six weeks and last week’s only prime-time program to average more than 7 million viewers.
“America’s Got Talent” has been the most-watched entertainment program each week an original episode has aired at least since the summer of 2017.
The CBS news magazine “60 Minutes” was second, averaging 6.806 million viewers.
ABC had each of the other three Top 5 programs. Its dating series “The Bachelorette” averaged a season-high 6.62 million viewers to finish third for the week, followed by “Celebrity Family Feud,” which averaged 5.621 million, and “The $100,000 Pyramid,” which averaged 4.806 million viewers.
“The Bachelorette” was the most-watched program among viewers ages 18-49 for the second consecutive week, averaging 2.189 million viewers among the group targeted by ABC, NBC and Fox and coveted by advertisers.
“America’s Got Talent” was second among the group for the second consecutive week, averaging 2.152 million viewers.
NBC was the outright winner in the network race for the fifth consecutive week after tying CBS for first the week of June 17-23, averaging 3.38 million viewers. ABC was second for the third consecutive week, averaging 3.09 million viewers.
CBS averaged 2.84 million viewers to finish third for the second consecutive week following a fourth-place finish.
Millions of potential CBS viewers were not able to watch the network because its owned-and-operated stations in more than a dozen markets, including Los Angeles, were removed from DirecTV and other AT&T-owned television packages July 20 when the two sides were unable to reach an agreement to allow their continued carriage.
Fox finished fourth for the 26th time in 28 weeks, averaging 1.6 million viewers for its 15 hours of programming. Its most-watched program was the Wednesday edition of “MasterChef,” which was 25th among the week’s broadcast and cable programs, averaging 3.254 million viewers.
“MasterChef” was the week’s 11th most-watched program on the broadcast networks among viewers ages 18-49, averaging 966,000 in the group.
The only times Fox has finished above fourth in the past 28 weeks were in the weeks it aired golf’s U.S. Open and Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game.
CBS, NBC and ABC each aired 22 hours of prime-time programming for ratings purposes.
The most-watched Spanish-language program was the July 23 episode of the Telmundo telenovela “La Reina del Sur,” which averaged 2.103 million viewers to finish 47th among broadcast programs. Its overall rank was not available.
Telemundo was the most-watched Spanish-language network for the third week in a row after three consecutive second-place finishes behind Univision, averaging 1.18 million viewers. Univision finished second, averaging 1.02 million, followed by UniMas which averaged 410,000, Estrella TV, which averaged 190,000 viewers, and Azteca America, which averaged 40,000.
ABC’s “World News Tonight with David Muir” was the most-watched network nightly newscast for the 35th consecutive week and 86th time in the past 87 weeks, averaging 7.974 million viewers.
The “NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt” was second, averaging 6.967 million viewers. The “CBS Evening News” averaged 4.736 million viewers in Norah O’Donnell’s second week as anchor, 9.6% less than the 5.239-million average for her first week. It has finished third each week since the week of Sept. 25-29, 2006.
The week’s 10 most-watched prime-time programs were NBC’s “America’s Got Talent”; CBS’ “60 Minutes”; ABC’s “The Bachelorette,” “Celebrity Family Feud” and “The $100,000 Pyramid”; the Wednesday edition of “Hannity” on Fox News Channel; NBC’s “American Ninja Warrior” and “Bring The Funny”; the Sunday edition of CBS’ “Big Brother”; and the Wednesday edition of “Tucker Carlson Tonight” on Fox News Channel.
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