Things may have been testy between the participants at times, but the ratings for Bill O’Reilly‘s interview with President Obama last night on Fox News Channel were full of nothing but love. With 4.204 million watching the continuation of the pre-taped White House sitdown from the Super Bowl pregame show, The O’Reilly Factor at 8 PM ET drew its best total audience numbers since its coverage of the Boston Marathon Bombing. Back in April 2013, Fox News drew 4.825 million viewers April 15, the day of the marathon attack, and 7.626 million viewers April 19 during a Shep Smith-hosted special in the slot on the night of the manhunt for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev ended with his capture. Last night’s Factor also garnered 626,000 viewers in the key adults 25-54 news demo.
Heavily promoted during Fox’s pregame coverage of Super Bowl XLVIII, Monday’s 10-minute Obama interview shown on the Factor was taped immediately following the sometimes combative live 10-minute one-on-one shown Sunday. The stellar viewership numbers were almost 1 million more that O’Reilly drew the previous Monday, when 3.234 million (up from the average of 3 million) watched the show the day before the State of the Union. O’Reilly also took his cable news time-slot rivals to town this Monday — even more than usual. The Factor got more than triple the combined viewership of CNN’s Anderson Cooper (453,000) and MSNBC’s Chris Hayes (940,000).