In a closely watched matchup of two distinctly different programs, Fox News’s “The Five” beat MSNBC’s red-hot “Rachel Maddow Show” in their first head-to-head matchup at 9 p.m. on Monday, according to preliminary Nielsen data.
“The Five,” a roundtable opinion show that was moved from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. to replace Tucker Carlson’s show after he moved to 8 p.m., registered 2.7 million total viewers and 568,000 viewers in the coveted 25- to 54-year-old demographic on Monday night.
Maddow, who finished March as the most-watched host in cable news in that demographic, finished second in both categories with 524,000 viewers in the younger demographic and 2.18 million total viewers.
Jake Tapper, CNN’s breakout star of the 2016 election, on Monday began a week of hosting prime-time specials focusing on President Trump’s first 100 days in office that included Monday’s town hall with Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R).
The special delivered 882,000 total viewers and 305,000 in the younger demographic.
Overall, “Tucker Carlson Tonight” came in as the No. 1 cable news show during its Monday night debut, pulling in 3.2 million viewers, including 636,000 in the younger demographic.
It was Carlson’s first night replacing Bill O’Reilly, who left Fox last week under the cloud of sexual harassment allegations.
Major advertisers, including Mercedes-Benz, Jenny Craig and custom shirt manufacturer Untuckit.com, returned to Fox’s 8 p.m. time slot after fleeing “The O’Reilly Factor” following an April 1 New York Times report that said O’Reilly or Fox had paid five women a total of $13 million to settle sexual harassment claims against him.
Many media observers are particularly focused on the rest of this week to see if “The Five” can maintain its opening night edge over Maddow.
There’s also speculation CNN is testing the waters with Tapper in prime time as the network continues to focus heavily on politics in the Trump era. The former ABC News senior White House correspondent has hosted “The Lead” on weekdays at 4 p.m. since 2013.
Fox finished ahead of all other basic cable channels in total viewers for the 15th consecutive week last week, which includes beating ESPN, USA Network and HGTV.
(via: The Hill)