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Fox News Second Among All Cable Nets, Hits 7-Month High

'Hannity' draws largest 10 p.m. Friday audience as the network outdraws its rivals combined

Greta Van Susteren, Bill O'Reilly, Megyn

With its revamped primetime lineup gelling, Fox News Channel rose to its second best numbers of the year last week — and finishing behind only ESPN among all cable networks.

According to Nielsen estimates for the week of Nov. 4-10, Fox News averaged 2.1 million viewers and 376,000 in the key news demo of adults 25-54, gains week-over-week of 5% and 13%, respectively. This was the fifth time in the calendar year that the net’s primetime average topped 2 million.

The only week of 2013 to rate higher for FNC was an April frame in the aftermath of the Boston marathon bombings.

Last Friday saw “Hannity” draw its largest audience on the night since moving to 10 o’clock (1.79 million, including 337,000 adults 25-54).

Of course, some of FNC’s gains in that hour could be due to the struggles of its rivals: CNN’s “Unguarded With Rachel Nichols fell to a series low (133,000 viewers, including 41,000 adults 25-54), and MSNBC’s “Up Late With Alec Baldwin” drew its smallest demo audience to date (101,000) while drawing 395,000 total viewers.

Among all cable networks in primetime, Fox News Channel (2.10 million viewers on average) placed second for a third straight week, finishing ahead of USA (1.83 million), Hallmark (1.79 million), TBS (1.77 million) and others. ESPN, paced by a big 16.1 million for “Monday Night Football,” led overall (3.56 million).

FNC outdrew the combined primetime averages of rival news nets MSNBC (716,000, ranked 27th among all cable networks), CNN (357,000, 38th) and HLN (294,000, 46th).