×

CBS News’ ‘Face the Nation’ Hits Viewership High in Bob Schieffer’s Final Season

David Letterman’s exit from latenight drew big ratings Wednesday night, but another longtime CBS figure — Bob Schieffer — is also going out on top.

With the 2014-15 television season in the books, the Schieffer-hosted “Face the Nation” is celebrating its largest audience since the 1987 advent of Nielsen’s people meters (3.42 million), up 5% from last year. By comparison, ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos” averaged 2.85 million viewers, and NBC’s “Meet the Press” averaged 2.83 million. (“Face the Nation” benefits in comparisons to the other networks’ shows because only its first half-hour is included in averages; its two half-hours air back-to-back in just about 76% of the country.)

In the key news demo of adults 25-54, “Face the Nation” (0.8 rating for its first half-hour) finished ahead of “This Week” and “Meet the Press” (both at 0.7 for their hours).

Capping a journalism career spanning 52 years, Schieffer is retiring this summer from CBS News after more than 45 years with the network, including the last 24 as moderator of “Face the Nation”; his final appearance on the Sunday public affairs program will be May 31. His other CBS posts have included lengthy stints as Chief Washington Correspondent and anchor of the summer and weekend editions of the “CBS Evening News.”

In addition to winning eight Emmys, Schieffer was named a living legend by the Library of Congress in 2008 and inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame in 2013.

John Dickerson, the current political director for CBS News, will be taking over moderator duties at “Face the Nation” in June. The program is executive produced by Mary Hager.

CBS News could also celebrate a seasonal victory for its “CBS Sunday Morning With Charles Osgood,” which finished on top in both adults 25-54 (1.4 rating/7 share) and total viewers (6.06 million) and serves as a potent lead-in for “Face the Nation.” Like “Face the Nation,” this was the largest season average on record for “CBS Sunday Morning,” which is executive produced by Rand Morrison.

Its final telecast of the 2014-15 season last Sunday included Jane Pauley’s interview with Letterman, one of the few he gave in the weeks leading up to his retirement.

More TV

  • Crypt-TV-Facebook

    Facebook Signs Deal With Crypt TV for Slate of Five Horror Series

    Crypt TV, the digital studio founded by Eli Roth and Jack Davis and backed by Jason Blum, expanded its deal with Facebook, inking a content partnership to create a slate of five horror and monster-themed series exclusively for Facebook Watch. For Facebook Watch, it’s one of the first deals for a full slate of content [...]

  • Robin Givens OWN Network

    Robin Givens on OWN's 'Ambitions,' TV Roles for Black Women and #MeToo

    Robin Givens’ breakout role came in the 1986-91 sitcom “Head of the Class.” Since then, she’s established herself as one of the most prolific actresses on television. That trajectory has continued into this year, with Givens playing a slew of what she calls “badass women” in shows such as “Riverdale” and “The Fix,” including her [...]

  • Jussie Smollett

    Jussie Smollett Seeks to Stop Appointment of Special Prosecutor

    Jussie Smollett’s lawyers filed a motion on Friday to overturn the appointment of a special prosecutor in his hate crime hoax case, arguing the appointment would expose the “Empire” actor to double jeopardy. Smollett is seeking to reverse an order issued last month by Judge Michael Toomin, who faulted Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx [...]

  • Jimmy Pitaro ESPN

    Dan Le Batard Tests ESPN's - and Jimmy Pitaro's - No-Politics Policy

    Perhaps someone didn’t get the memo. Ever since Jimmy Pitaro took the helm of ESPN in early 2018, employees at the Walt Disney-owned sports-media juggernaut were made aware of at least one thing: The new boss didn’t want sportscasters yakking it up about politics any longer. But Dan Le Batard, the popular radio and TV [...]

  • Rick Rubin Spotify Secret Genius Awards,

    Seven Things We Learned About 'Shangri-La' and Rick Rubin from Showtime's Series

    Showtime’s documentary series “Shangri-La” insists it is not a biographical documentary on uber-producer Rick Rubin, and it’s not meant as a four-hour advertisement for Rubin’s legendary Malibu studio, after which the four-part series is named … but it feels like a little bit of both those things. “Shangri-La” is primarily filmed at the studio where [...]

  • Elaine Paul - Amazon Studios

    Elaine Paul Exits as Hulu CFO to Join Amazon Studios

    Elaine Paul has departed Hulu after nearly six years as chief financial officer to join Amazon Studios as CFO/VP of finance. She started at the ecommerce company’s studio division on July 15, reporting to Dan Jedda, VP of digital, advertising and corporate development finance for Amazon, a company rep said. Paul’s move to Amazon, first [...]

  • Major Expansion Planned at Belfast Harbour

    Major Expansion Planned at Belfast Harbour Studios, Home of ‘Krypton’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    Belfast Harbour Studios in Northern Ireland, where the Syfy series “Krypton” is shot, is set for a major expansion. The Warner Horizon-produced series has occupied the full site, which currently has two stages, since it opened in 2017. The landowners had signaled that they wanted to expand, and Variety has learned that plans for the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content