Fox News’ Tucker Carlson left other cable news shows in the dust this week with chart-topping ratings amid coverage of the coronavirus crisis.
The number one ratings slot in cable news Monday night went to Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight” as more Americans are homebound with concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic and news outlets have focused on the topic with updated reports, resources, and commentary.
Carlson’s primetime show drew in a total of 4.46 million viewers on Monday as he focused on the virus and measures being taken to combat its spread. The broadcast also boasted an amazing 949,000 viewers in the coveted 25-54 demographic.
Fox News’ primetime lineup averaged 4.19 million total viewers, pulling in 845,000 in the same demographic, with Sean Hannity’s “Hannity” and Laura Ingraham’s “The Ingraham Angle” also posting large numbers for the night.
Following behind Fox News’ whopping lead, MSNBC had 2.79 million viewers total in that time while CNN came in third with 2.04 million. However, CNN averaged 735,000 primetime viewers in the demo, surpassing MSNBC which had 520,000.
MSNBC’s highest primetime numbers were scored by Rachel Maddow whose show drew in 3.46 million viewers with 656,000 in the 25-54 demographic. Meanwhile, CNN’s top primetime numbers were during Chris Cuomo’s program with 789,000 in the demo and a total of 2.18 million viewers.
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“Cable news viewership has jumped more than 50% since the outbreak began at the start of the year,” Forbes reported, citing a study by a company that analyzes viewer behavior.
“Regardless of whether you call it social distancing, quarantining or retreating to a safe place, heading home amid concerns about the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is bound to affect media consumption habits,” a new Nielsen report stated. “In fact, staying put in our homes can lead to almost a 60% increase in the amount of content we watch in some cases and potentially more depending on the reasons.”
Carlson’s top-rated Fox News show has held nothing back in looking at the coronavirus crisis in the past days, calling out lawmakers, the media and any others for lack of transparency or action in the wake of the outbreak which, as of Wednesday, has over 205,000 confirmed cases and more than 8,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.
“When I criticize the media, I say that as someone who’s been here since 1991 and worked in newspapers and doing magazines and all three networks, and, like, I know the landscape pretty well, as well as anybody does, and so my criticism is not reflexive partisanship. I’ve never been a reflexive partisan, and you can check—it’s totally sincere,” Carlson told Vanity Fair in an interview published Tuesday.
“I’m appalled by the dumbness. I’m appalled,” he added.
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