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Hannity, Carlson and Trump a winning trio for Fox News Channel

Fox News Channel's Sean Hannity.
A presidential town hall hosted by Sean Hannity helped lift Fox News Channel to the top of the ratings for the second week in a row.
(Carolyn Kaster / AP)

Fox News Channel was the network with the best prime-time ratings in television for the second consecutive week thanks to a town hall with President Trump and strong performances by the political talk shows “Hannity” and “Tucker Carlson Tonight.”

Thursday’s town hall hosted by Sean Hannity averaged 5.118 million viewers, the most among cable programs between June 22 and Sunday and fifth overall, according to live-plus-same-day figures released Tuesday by Nielsen. The Monday and Wednesday “Hannity” episodes were eighth and ninth for the week, averaging 4.48 million and 4.382 million, respectively.

The Tuesday, Thursday and Monday “Tucker Carlson Tonight” episodes were 10th through 12th for the week, averaging 4.27 million, 4.253 million and 4.247 million, respectively.

NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” was the highest-rated prime-time program for the fifth time in the five full weeks of television’s summer season, averaging 8.572 million viewers. That was its third largest audience of the summer, behind the 9.899-million average for its season premiere May 26 and 8.789 million for the second episode June 2.

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An “America’s Got Talent” episode has been the week’s most-watched entertainment program every week an original episode has aired since its 2016 season premiere.

Despite airing on a broadcast network for the first time, viewership for Sunday’s BET Awards was down slightly from 2019, averaging 3.7 million viewers on CBS, BET and BET Her. It placed 28th for the week and second in its 8-11 p.m. time slot behind ABC’s game show block of “Celebrity Family Feud,” “Press Your Luck” and “Match Game,” which averaged 4.24 million.

The 2019 ceremony averaged 3.79 viewers on eight Viacom networks — BET, BET Her, MTV, MTV2, MTV Classic, Logo, TV Land and VH1.

The first broadcast of the Daytime Emmy Awards on broadcast television since 2011 averaged 3.013 million viewers on CBS, 52nd for the week and second in its 8-10 p.m. Friday time slot behind a rerun of “Shark Tank” on ABC, which averaged 3.15 million.

CBS averaged 3.024 million viewers for the reruns of “All Rise” and “MacGyver” that aired in the time slot the previous Friday.

The CBS newsmagazine “60 Minutes” was the week’s only other prime-time program to average more than 6 million viewers, with 7.89 million.

“Celebrity Family Feud” was ABC’s most-watched program, averaging 5.559 million viewers to finish fourth for the week behind “America’s Got Talent,” “60 Minutes” and a rerun of the CBS action drama “NCIS,” which averaged 5.677 million.

Fox’s biggest audience was for the eight-minute postrace show for NASCAR’s rain-delayed Geico 500 stock car race June 22. It averaged 3.197 million viewers, 45th among the week’s broadcast and cable programs.

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Fox’s top-rated entertainment program was a rerun of the procedural drama “9-1-1,” which followed the postrace show and averaged 2.177 million viewers, 45th among broadcast programs. Its overall rank was not available.

Viewership for most forms of programming is down compared to the past primarily due to increased viewership of streaming programming, including the same programs shown on traditional television.

Fox News Channel averaged 3.324 million viewers for the week. CBS averaged 3.26 million to finish second for the second consecutive week after 18 consecutive victories. NBC was third, averaging 3.17 million, followed by ABC, which averaged 2.86 million. Fox averaged 1.38 million viewers for its 15 hours of prime-time programming,

Fox News Channel, CBS, NBC, ABC, MSNBC and CNN each broadcast 22 hours of prime-time programming.

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The combined viewership of the four major broadcast networks was down 21.2% from the corresponding week one year ago, when programming included two Democratic presidential debates that aired on NBC, cable’s MSNBC and the Spanish-language network Telemundo. NBC was down 35.6%, Fox 13.6%, ABC 12.3% and CBS 10.2%.

The combined four-network viewership was down 24% in the first week of the summer season, 27.8% in the second, 33% in the third and 16.1% in the fourth. Each of the first three weeks of television’s 2019 summer season included NBA Finals games on ABC.

MSNBC was second among cable networks for the third consecutive week, averaging 2.068 million viewers. CNN was third for the third consecutive week, averaging 1.617 million.


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