You would not be saying TGIF in cable newsland if you were Alec Baldwin or Rachel Nichols last week. The actor’s 10 PM MSNBC show Up Late and the former ESPN reporter’s Unguarded on CNN both hit demo lows on November 8. With guests Cristina Tzintzun of the Workers Defense Fund and the Coalition for the Homeless’ Mary Brosnahan talking immigration reform and anti-poverty programs, Up Late With Alec Baldwin pulled in just 101,000 viewers among adults 25-54 on Friday. That’s a 41% drop from the 172,000 demo results of the one-hour show’s October 11 debut. While Baldwin’s total viewers were up to 395,000 from the 354,000 low of its November 1 show, the demo was down from that show’s 130,000. For CNN’s Unguarded, the numbers were even more dire. The Nichols-hosted sports-themed show not only hit a demo low but a viewership low too. The 10:30-11 PM show had a very weak 41,000 viewers in the news demo and just 133,000 viewers overall. That’s a 55% free fall in the demo from Unguarded’s already soft October 25 premiere. It’s also a 54% slide from the 288,000 overall viewers who watched the show’s launch.
On the other hand, just over a month in its new 10 PM slot, Sean Hannity‘s Fox News Channel’s show had a very good night. Focusing on the Affordable Care Act AKA Obamacare with a studio audience, the 60-minute political show had its best Friday since FNC revamped its primetime in early October. Hannity received a 24% boost in viewership since October 11 with 1.794 million watching. That’s also up from the 1.597 million who tuned on November 1. In terms of the 25-54 demo, Hannity had 337,000 viewers. That’s up from last week’s 310,000 in the 25-54s and steady with the 336,000 that the show had in its first Friday in its new slot. Overall, FNC won Friday’s cable news primetime battle with 2.314 million total viewers and 394,000 in the key demo. MSNBC was second in both categories with 731,00 viewers on average between 8 PM and 11 PM with 164,000 in the demo while CNN had also half the total viewership with 372,000 and a mere 100,000 among adults 25-54.