Fueled by Wednesday’s breaking news of the San Bernardino terrorist attack that killed 14, Fox News Channel topped the basic cable rankers last week, both in primetime and total day. The network averaged 2.8 million viewers in primetime, topping ESPN (2.6M) and holiday-heavy programming on ABC Family (2.3M) and Hallmark Channel (2.0M) in primetime. Ditto total day, where FNC logged 1.6M viewers, besting Nick’s 1.2M, ABC Family’s 1.1M and ESPN’s 1.0M.
That said, ESPN’s Monday Night Football was the most-watched primetime program of the week, clocking 10.1M viewers; MNF also topped in the news demo with 4.6M viewers aged 25-54. FNC’s Wednesday The O’Reilly Factor finished second in overall audience (5.9M), while Discovery’s Gold Rush ranked No. 2 in the demo (2.0M) followed by CNN’s Wednesday Anderson Cooper 360 (1.7M).
It’s the second time this year that FNC has ranked No. 1 in both primetime and total day, and marks the network’s second-highest-rated week of the year, behind only the week it hosted the first GOP debate, which logged a basic-cable non-sports record 24M viewers that night. The only other time FNC has topped the weekly rankers in both metrics was the week of the Boston marathon bombing in April of 2013.