Continuing to strew ratings records wherever he appears, Donald Trump delivered Fox News Sunday With Chris Wallace its most-watched broadcast in more than six years. The Sunday Beltway show logged 1,618,000 total viewers last Sunday, and 471K news-demo viewers. In overall audience, FNS jumped 23% compared to the same day last year.
The sit-down marked Trump’s first visit to Wallace’s show since announcing his candidacy in June. Wallace’s was the only Sunday Beltway show on which Trump has not appeared since throwing his hat in the ring.
Finally appearing, Trump defended his threat to boycott CNBC’s GOP debate unless it was held to two hours in length, because, he said, CNN’s three-hour GOP debate was too long and “people were turning off — who’s going to watch a debate that long?” But Trump also boasted that CNN’s GOP debate had logged record ratings (23M), as had Fox News Channel’s GOP debate (24M), simpering, “Do you have any idea why?”
“I think maybe it was because of the moderators,” Wallace had responded, having been one of the moderators at the debate that triggered a major kerfuffle between Trump and Fox. While Trump’s post-debate anger toward co-moderator Megyn Kelly sucked up most of the oxygen, Trump also attacked Wallace, calling him “only a tiny fraction” of his father, CBS newsman Mike Wallace. Trump had also accused Chris Wallace of having had “blood pouring out of his eyes” at that debate – though he stopped with “eyes” in Wallace’s case.
By last Sunday, however, Trump had mellowed, and answered, “I think so…Great moderators,” to Wallace’s lead, and the two men had a good laugh.
The GOP frontrunner has been a ratings magnet across TV genre. Many industry navel lint-gazers have credited Trump with turning the GOP debates into the hottest new show on the fall TV schedule — the FNC and CNN debates’ 24M and 23M viewers, respectively, pounded every new primetime series launch this season. Trump also won Stephen Colbert his third week as host of CBS’ The Late Show in overall audience. And he won cable TV for Bill O’Reilly the night he appeared on Fox News Channel’s The O’Reilly Factor.
Trump’s already forecast that when he hosts NBC’s Saturday Night Live on November 7, that late-night show will enjoy its highest ratings “in a long time.” And he recently forecast the petitions of protest about the booking, not to mention speeches of outrage about Trump’s guest-host gig, delivered from the floor of the House of Representatives will only help spike the show’s ratings.
No argument here.