The combination of interest in the ramifications of the takeover of Afghanistan by Taliban militants and broadcast network schedules mostly filled with reruns and alternative programming made Fox News Channel last week’s most-watched network in prime time, according to live-plus-same-day figures released Tuesday by Nielsen.
Fox News Channel averaged 2.936 million viewers for its 22 hours of prime-time programming between Aug. 16 and Sunday, an increase of 33.7% from the 2.196-million average the previous week. CBS was first among broadcast networks, averaging 2.57 million viewers, also for 22 hours of prime-time programming.
Fox News Channel had each of the 13 most-watched prime-time cable programs and 16 of the top 20, topped by the Tuesday edition of “Hannity,” which featured an interview with former President Donald Trump that averaged 4.82 million viewers, fourth overall.
Fox News Channel has finished first in primetime among cable networks for seven consecutive weeks.
CNN also experienced a sharp increase in viewership, rising 20.6% to 943,000 viewers, fifth among cable networks, two spots higher than the previous week when it averaged 782,000.
MSNBC’s viewership dropped 7.1% from 1.288 million to 1.197 million, but it still finished second among cable networks for the second consecutive week.
HGTV was third for the second consecutive week, averaging 1.06 million, 3.2% less than its 1.142 million average the previous week. TLC was fourth for the second consecutive week, averaging 1.043 million, nearly matching its 1.052 million average the previous week.
NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” was the most-watched prime-time program for the sixth time in the 10 weeks it has aired this summer, averaging 6.091 million viewers for its Tuesday edition. Its Wednesday edition was third, averaging 5.74 million.
The week’s only other prime-time program to average more than 5 million viewers was an edition of the CBS News magazine “60 Minutes,” with three previously broadcast segments that were updated for the broadcast and averaged 5.978 million viewers, finishing second for the second consecutive week following conclusion of NBC’s coverage of the Summer Olympics.
NBC was second among broadcast networks, averaging 2.53 million viewers. ABC was third, averaging 2.39 million viewers. Its most-watched program was “Celebrity Family Feud,” fifth for the week, averaging 4.74 million.
NBC and ABC also broadcast 22 hours of prime-time programming.
Fox was fourth among the major English-language broadcast networks, averaging 1.38 million for its 15 hours of prime-time programming. Its most-watched program was the cooking show, “Hell’s Kitchen,” 37th overall, averaging 2.607 million viewers.
The CW again was fifth among the five major English-language broadcast networks, averaging 470,000 viewers for its 12 hours of programming. Its most-watched program was the third season premiere of the Canadian crime drama “Coroner,” which averaged 822,000 viewers to tie for 139th with an episode of the 1965-71 CBS comedy “Hogan’s Heroes” rerun on MeTV. Its overall rank was not available.
The most-watched prime-time Spanish language program was the Tuesday episode of the Univision drama anthology “La Rosa de Guadalupe,” which averaged 1.791 million viewers, 50th among broadcast programs. Its overall rank is not available.
Univision was the most-watched Spanish-language network for the 90th consecutive week and 92nd time in 93 weeks, averaging 1.28 million viewers. Telemundo was second, averaging 1.04 million viewers, followed by UniMas (490,000), Estrella TV (110,000) and Azteca America (40,000).
ABC’s “World News Tonight with David Muir” was the most-watched network nightly newscast for the 90th consecutive week, the 141st time in 142 weeks and the 193rd time in 195 weeks, averaging 8.017 million viewers.
“NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt” was second, averaging 6.473 million viewers, followed by the “CBS Evening News with Norah O’Donnell,” which averaged 4.732 million viewers.
The week’s 10 most-watched prime-time programs were the Tuesday edition of NBC’s “America’s Got Talent”; CBS’ “60 Minutes”; the Wednesday edition of “America’s Got Talent’; the Tuesday edition of the Fox News Channel political talk show “Hannity”; ABC’s “Celebrity Family Feud” and “America’s Funniest Home Videos”; the Thursday episode of CBS’ “Big Brother”; the Monday edition of the Fox News Channel political talk show, “Tucker Carlson Tonight”; the Thursday and Sunday editions of “Big Brother”; and the ABC game show “The Chase.”