×

Ratings: CNN Republican Town Hall is Most-Watched in Cable News History

CNN’s GOP Town Hall from Wisconsin on Tuesday, featuring Anderson Cooper’s sitdown interviews with the final three candidates, has become the most-watched ever on cable news, with the network drawing more viewers than Fox News and MSNBC combined.

According to preliminary national estimates from Nielsen, the GOP Town Hall averaged 3.263 million viewers from 8 to 11 p.m., edging out the previous high for a town hall set by CNN in January for a Democratic gathering from Iowa prior to the state’s caucuses. Fox News Channel, without leadoff hitter Bill O’Reilly, placed second among the cable newsers for the night with 1.996 million, and MSNBC drew 1.156 million.

In the key news demo of adults 25-54, CNN (1.062 million) also easily topped the combined totals of FNC (422,000) and MSNBC (292,000).

Viewership peaked during the 9 p.m. ET hour when Donald Trump was interviewed. In the Nielsen prelims, CNN averaged 4.04 million viewers, including 1.33 million adults 25-54.

The post-program, “CNN Tonight with Don Lemon,” also finished No. 1 among cable news networks from 11 p.m. to midnight ET. It averaged 1.353 million viewers, including 480,000 in the 25-54 demo.

Tuesday’s town hall came one week before the crucial Wisconsin primary. Among the highlights last night were Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and John Kasich separately declining to say they would unquestionably support the GOP candidate for November’s election.

 

Popular on Variety

More TV

  • Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro attends a

    Bolsonaro LGBTQI Outburst, Subsidy Freeze, Stirs Outrage

    Ramping up the drive into censorship in Brazil, its Minister of Citizenship, Omar Terra, has suspended a call for applications for governmental TV funding – until new criteria are established for its application. The country’s secretary for culture, Henrique Pires, who reports to Terra, has resigned in protest of the incentive freeze. The suspension, for [...]

  • Shanta Fripp Claudia Milne Jon Tower

    'CBS This Morning' Names New Director, Managing Editor and Senior Producer

    “CBS This Morning” has made three key staff appointments as the show’s new leadership team settles in. Shanta Fripp, an 18-year CBS News veteran, has been named director of the weekday broadcast. Claudia Milne has joined CBS News from ProPublica as managing editor while Jon Tower has been upped to senior broadcast producer. “I’m thrilled [...]

  • Sean Spicer DWTS

    Sean Spicer Will Make Six Figures for 'Dancing With the Stars'

    Sean Spicer could waltz away with a nice payday if he wins “Dancing With the Stars.” According to multiple sources, contestants on the ABC competition series make $125,000 for the show’s rehearsal period and their first two weeks on the air. If they make it to week three and beyond, they begin to earn additional [...]

  • Sean Spicer Dancing With the Stars

    Sean Spicer's 'Dancing With the Stars' Casting Is a Terrible, Cynical Ratings Grab (Column)

    ABC’s announcement that its newest “Dancing With the Stars” cast will feature Sean Spicer, former press secretary for Donald Trump and frequent punchline, got immediate heat. The show’s tweet sharing the news was immediately flooded with derision and calls for reconsideration given the fact that Spicer gained his modicum of fame from defending some of [...]

  • Channel 4's Dorothy Byrne Calls on

    Channel 4's Dorothy Byrne Calls on Broadcasters to 'Get Serious'

    Broadcasters can arrest their fall in ratings by making “really clever and difficult programs,” according to Dorothy Byrne, Channel 4’s head of news and current affairs, who delivered the keynote MacTaggart lecture at the Edinburgh TV Festival on Wednesday night. Speaking to an Edinburgh auditorium packed with many of the U.K.’s most senior executives, Byrne said [...]

  • 50 Cent Power S6 Premiere

    50 Cent, Snoop Dogg & Trey Songz 'Power' Up New York City for Massive Season 6 Premiere

    “Power” is entering its final season, but you would never know if you walked by Madison Square Garden in Manhattan on Tuesday night. Starz pulled out all the stops for its ratings powerhouse “Power,” throwing a massive premiere event, complete with a full-length concert at Madison Square Garden from Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson and a [...]

  • AT&T TV

    AT&T TV: An Unskinny Streaming Bundle That Looks a Lot Like Traditional Pay TV

    AT&T this week launched AT&T TV, a new subscription streaming television service that uses an Android-based internet set-top, in 10 markets. But the way it’s priced and packaged looks very similar to cable and satellite TV services — in other words, AT&T TV isn’t targeted at the cord-cutter crowd. It’s basically designed as a way [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content