×

CNN Momentum Grows But Still No. 3 in Primetime

MSNBC is No. 2 in viewers, key demo; CNN notches daytime gains

It may be the No. 3 in primetime, but CNN seems to have some ratings momentum.

For the first time in two years, CNN has topped MSNBC for a second consecutive quarter in both total-day viewers and adults 25-54 rating, according to Nielsen. MSNBC remained a bit ahead of CNN in primetime, but both lag well behind longtime ratings king Fox News.

MSNBC ranked second in weekday primetime, topping CNN among total viewers (621,000 vs. CNN’s 555,000) and A25-54 (178,000 vs. CNN’s 177,000). MSNBC also ranked #2 in Monday- Sunday primetime among key demo 25-54 (190,000 vs. CNN’s 179,000) and total viewers (568,000 vs. CNN’s 542,000).

Still, every CNN weekend program was up vs. last year in the quarter while competitors Fox News and MSNBC were down double-digits.

With 422,000 total viewers, CNN also improved its numbers over last year (up 9%), while MSNBC (377,000, down 27%) and Fox (1.025 million, down 11%) had double-digit declines.

The quarter covered July through Sept. 29.

MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” continues to lead CNN in the early airwaves in both total viewers (398,000 vs. CNN’s 303,000) and 25-54 demo (133,000 vs. CNN’s 107,000). Despite its sluggish start, CNN’s latest morning program “New Day” — new CNN president Jeff Zucker’s pet project — is gaining momentum.  It outperfomed the network’s morning show from last year by 29% in total viewers (to 303,000) and 15% in adults 25-54 (to 107,000).

New Day” is among the new shows in the network shakeup, which includes another newcomer, “The Lead with Jake Tapper,” and the revived “Crossfire.”  The Jake Tapper-hosted afternoon newscast beat MSNBC with 535,000 viewers (up 8% from the year-ago timeslot). Meanwhile, early-evening program “Crossfire,” in its first few weeks on the air, is down, but both MSNBC and CNN declined by larger amounts in the time period vs. last year.

CNN’s “Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown” ranked No. 1 in its Saturday night slot. Its first episode of the second season, in Jerusalem, was the most popular to date (274,000). The Emmy-winning series was just renewed for a third season.

Popular on Variety

More TV

  • Judith Light'Transparent' TV show Musical Finale,

    'Transparent' Team Talks 'Transformative Energy' of Trans Community

    As Amazon Prime Video prepares to send off “Transparent” with a musical finale movie on Sept. 27, the cast and creative team behind the show are hoping the impact of a character such as Maura Pfefferman (Jeffrey Tambor) will not be overshadowed by the controversy that the actor who portrayed Maura caused. “I believe that [...]

  • Cherry Jones

    Cherry Jones Wins 2019 Guest Drama Actress Emmy

    Cherry Jones won the 2019 guest drama actress Emmy for her work as the titular character’s mother, Holly Osborne, in Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale.” This was Jones’ second consecutive nomination for the role but first win. Interestingly, both noms were for her work in the second season of the dystopian streaming series. After a few [...]

  • Jane Lynch, Cyndi Lauper Developing 'Golden

    Jane Lynch, Cyndi Lauper Developing 'Golden Girls'-Style Comedy for Netflix

    Jane Lynch and Cyndi Lauper just wanna have fun. The comedian and the 1980s music icon have joined forces to star in a new comedy project that may be heading to Netflix. Lynch let it slip backstage at the Creative Arts Emmys that she and Lauper will co-star in a comedy that she described as [...]

  • Luke Kirby71st Annual Primetime Creative Arts

    Luke Kirby Wins 2019 Guest Comedy Actor Emmy

    Luke Kirby has been crowned the winner of the 2019 guest comedy actor Emmy for his role as the real-life comic Lenny Bruce on Amazon Prime Video’s “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.” This was Kirby’s first-ever Emmy attention. He was nominated against a slew of “Saturday Night Live” players (Robert De Niro, John Mulaney and Adam [...]

  • Bradley Whitford photographed at the PMC

    Bradley Whitford Wins 2019 Guest Drama Actor Emmy

    Bradley Whitford won the 2019 guest drama actor Emmy for his role of Commander Joseph Lawrence on Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale.” Whitford joined the cast of the streaming dystopian series at the end of its second season, in episodes that were released after the close of the 2018 Emmy eligibility window. The Television Academy agreed [...]

  • TV Review: 'Transparent' Series Finale

    TV Review: 'Transparent' Series Finale

    Amazon’s “Transparent” will have a chapter, or a section of one, in some to-be-written history of television, in part thanks to how brazen and how daring its ideas were for its moment. Some of those were ideas that came to seem simply logical in retrospect: The show was a pathbreaker for trans representation onscreen, casting [...]

  • Jane Lynch NBC Relatively Happy

    Jane Lynch Wins 2019 Guest Comedy Actress Emmy

    Jane Lynch has been crowned the winner of the 2019 guest comedy actress Emmy for her role of comic Sophie Lennon on Amazon Prime Video’s “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.” This was Lynch’s second consecutive nomination for the role but first win. However, it is her fifth Emmy overall, after winning a short form statue in [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content