Last updated on February 3, 2022
Tucker Carlson’s primetime dominance has reached across the aisle, attracting more young Democrats than any other primetime cable news show.
According to new TV viewership data released by Nielsen/MRI Fusion, reported by Mediaite, Carlson’s primetime show, “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” is the number one most-watched show among Democrats in the key demographic of 25-54 year-olds.
The data, from the month of October, showed that Carlson pulled in 101,000 viewers who self-identified as Democrats in the 25-54 demographic. MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show” and Fox’s “The Five” were tied for second place, each attracting 88,000 viewers in the key demo who self-identified as Democrats. The next two spots are occupied by Sean Hannity, who took in 81,000 young Democrat viewers, and Greg Gutfeld, who pulled 73,000.
Maddow still has a significant advantage in total Democratic viewership, pulling in a total of 908,000 viewers across all age groups. “The Five” pulled in the second most, with 732,000 viewers who identified themselves as Democrats, and Carlson followed close behind with 722,000 total Democrats. Hannity and MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell rounded out the top five, with Hannity garnering 623,000 Democrat viewers, and O’Donnell taking 607,000.
In addition to taking three out of the top five spots among Democrats, Fox News’ primetime lineup has a stranglehold on Independents. “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” “The Five,” “Hannity,” “Special Report with Bret Baier,” and “The Ingraham Angle” occupy all five of the top slots among self-identified Independents. All five shows occupy the top five slots for Republicans as well.
As a network, Fox News owns the majority of cable news airtime around the clock. Fox takes in 56% of total primetime viewership, and 55% of daytime viewership. Fox also leads CNN and MSNBC among Independents, and even pulls in a plurality of Democrats. Fox pulled in a total of 58% of all Independents who watched cable news, while MSNBC garnered 25% and CNN got just 17%. Fox was number one among self-identified Democrats, with 39% of total viewership, MSNBC came just in second place with 38%, and CNN fell behind with just 24%.
Fox News also closed out the year 2021 as the most-watched channel, not just in all of cable news, but on all of basic cable TV. Carlson’s show also closed the year as the most-watched cable news show. The Daily Wire reported:
Viewers have made the conservative cable news network the top channel on basic cable for the last six of the network’s 25 years on the air. FNC — which debuted on October 7, 1996 — has also outpaced its liberal competitors MSNBC and CNN to become the number one choice in cable news for two decades…x
The network owned 10 of the top 15 programs in cable news, and nine of the top 15 shows among advertisers’ most-coveted demographic: viewers aged 25 to 54.
“Tucker Carlson Tonight” ended the year as the most-watched program on cable news with an average audience of 3.2 million viewers. Carlson’s populist conservative show, which interviewed figures ranging from Kyle Rittenhouse to Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, proved such a ratings blockbuster that Carlson spun off a daytime show. “Tucker Carlson Today” began streaming on FoxNation in March.“The Five” came in second with 2.9 million viewers, followed closely by “Hannity” with a 2.88 million-strong audience …
In all, Fox News attracted an average audience of 1.3 million viewers through December 13; no other channel on basic cable exceeded one million viewers on average.
Fox News showed its continued dominance of cable news in its primetime schedule. FNC’s 2021 primetime ratings were nearly as high as rivals CNN and MSNBC combined. Fox News rated first in primetime, followed by sports giant ESPN, MSNBC, and CNN.
Fox’s Greg Gutfeld also claimed the top spot in late-night TV in 2021, shortly after the premiere of his late-night comedy show, “Gutfeld!” The show averaged 2.12 million viewers to Stephen Colbert’s 1.896 million, and edged out Colbert in the key demographic, with 434,000 viewers aged 25-54 versus Colbert’s 423,000 viewers in the same age group.
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