The Nielsen ratings for the second night of Rachel Maddow’s interview with Lev Parnas Thursday on MSNBC fell short of Wednesday’s record-breaking viewership (4.5 million viewers), notching down slightly at 4.3 million.
But it was the third most-watched program in the history of “The Rachel Maddow Show.” (The second most-watched was on Jan. 8, 2019, after Donald Trump’s oval office address during the government shutdown. )
In the key adult 25 to 54 demographic, Thursday’s continuation of the Parnas interview on “Maddow” drew 745,000, beating Fox News (621,000) and CNN (375,000). In total viewers in the 9 p.m. hour, “Maddow’s” 4.3 million meant the program beat “Hannity” (3.9 million) by that measurement as well. “Maddow” was the sixth most-watched show on television Thursday night.
The interviews on “Maddow” aired the week the impeachment of Donald Trump has moved to the Senate, when the arguments over whether there will be new evidence presented there have reached a fever pitch. Parnas is a former associate of Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani. He and Igor Fruman were arrested in October on charges they were funneling foreign money to politicians in order to influence U.S.-Ukraine relations. Parnas has pleaded not guilty, and is currently out on bail.
In Part 1 of the interview, Parnas implicated Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, former national security adviser John Bolton, attorney general William Barr and Republican congressman Devin Nunes in Trump’s alleged attempts to pressure Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky into investigating former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden.
In Part 2, he named former energy secretary Rick Perry, Trump’s personal lawyer Jay Sekulow and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. When Maddow pressed him about why he was doing the interview, Parnas said he’s scared of Barr’s Justice Department, which oversees the Southern District of New York, where he has been charged.
“They’re trying to scare me into not talking,” Parnas told Maddow. “My wife is scared. My kids are nervous.”