Jesse Watters Primetime debuted on Jan. 24 and helped push the hour into the top five among all cable news shows. It drew 3.3 million viewers during its launch week, and 490,000 in the 25-54 demographic, according to Nielsen figures via Fox News. Watters was selected as the permanent host of the hour previously filled by rotating opinion commentators under the umbrella name Fox News Primetime.
Fox News topped the month of January in primetime and total day, in what the network said marked its 20th consecutive year as the number one cable news network in those categories.
All of the cable news networks saw primetime audience erosion versus January 2021, marked by the Capitol siege, another Donald Trump impeachment and the presidential inauguration, but the falloff was much greater for CNN and MSNBC. Both networks saw viewership spikes in January, 2021 with the extraordinary events.
In primetime, Fox News averaged 2.24 million total viewers, down 12% versus a year earlier, compared to 1.15 million for MSNBC, down 56%, and 633,000 for CNN, down 77%. In the 25-54 demo, Fox News topped with 338,000, down 20%, versus 140,000 for CNN, down 82% and 130,000 for MSNBC, off by 73%.
Fox News did see an increase in total day viewers with an average of 1.41 million viewers, up by 4% compared to a year earlier. MSNBC averaged 656,000, down 60%, and CNN posted 493,000, off by 74%. In the 25-54 demo, Fox News averaged 226,000, down 7%, followed by CNN with 101,000, down 81%, and MSNBC with 74,000, down 75%.
Among total viewers, The Five topped with an average of 3.57 million, followed by Tucker Carlson Tonight with 3.41 million, Hannity with 2.86 million, Special Report with Bret Baier at 2.61 million and Jesse Watters Primetime/Fox News Primetime with 2.38 million. The Rachel Maddow Show was the only non-Fox News show in the top ten, ranking No. 7 with an average of 2.01 million viewers.
In the adults 25-54 demo, Tucker Carlson Tonight topped with 560,000, followed by Hannity with 430,000, Jesse Watters Primetime/Fox News Primetime at 388,000 and Special Report with Bret Baier at 387,000. Maddow was the highest ranked non-Fox News show, ranking No. 14 in the demo, with an average of 238,000.