Fox News Channel led the cable-TV pack and also bested ABC with its total audience for Tuesday night’s Oval Office speech from President Donald Trump and the Democratic response that followed.
From 9/8c through 9:30, Fox News averaged 8 million total viewers versus MSNBC’s 4.2 mil and CNN’s 3.6 mil, while also dominating in cable news’ 25-54 target demo. Of the broadcast networks, ABC averaged 5.8 mil, while Fox did half that; numbers for CBS and NBC are not yet available. (CBS in the fast nationals averaged north of 8 million for the entire half-hour, so it may give FNC a run for its money once those numbers come in.)
Fox News, MSNBC and CNN’s combined coverage of specifically the Democratic response (which was delivered by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer) totaled 16 million total viewers — a bit larger a crowd than the 15.6 mil who watched Trump’s actual speech. Only on Fox News did more tune in for the speech (8.2 mil) than the response (7.8 mil).
Trump’s speech, for which he requested airtime just a day-and-a-half prior, and the accompanying Democratic response wound up disrupting the second week of broadcast-TV’s midseason premieres. CBS bumped fresh episodes of the freshman hit FBI and in turn NCIS: New Orleans; NBC swapped in at 9 o’clock a rerun of the high-rated Ellen’s Game of Games (out of which New Amsterdam hit series lows); and ABC and Fox ran full but staggered lineups.