Apparently “The O’Reilly Factor” just needed Bill O’Reilly himself to reclaim the show’s chart-topping mojo.
On Wednesday, O’Reilly cut his vacation short to cover the continuing unrest in Ferguson, Mo. In doing so, he pulled in 3.3 million total viewers, more than tripling second place Anderson Cooper.
CNN’s “AC360” managed just 946,000 total viewers yesterday. MSNBC’s offering, “All In With Chris Hayes,” had 637,000 total viewers.
And in the demo, the impact was felt as well: “The O’Reilly Factor” earned 615,000 viewers 25-54 in the 8 p.m. hour.
Closest competition “AC360” had 346,000 in the key cable news demo, “All In” had 135,000.
Fox News Channel grew in primetime across both total viewers, up 28 percent from Monday and 21 percent from Tuesday, as well as in the demo, up 33 percent from Monday (though just three percent from Tuesday) with O’Reilly’s return. CNN and MSNBC went in the opposite direction, apparently unable to sustain their breaking news boosts into a third night this week.
CNN’s primetime total viewers fell 23 percent from Tuesday, down 32 percent in the demo day-to-day. MSNBC had a significant demo drop, slipping 22 percent from Tuesday.
The week hasn’t been all bad news for CNN, of course. On Tuesday, CNN’s “New Day” hit its all-time high in the demo, and on both prior weekdays, Cooper topped the demo in primetime.
But by Wednesday, Cooper had fallen behind the revived “O’Reilly Factor” by those 269,000 demo viewers.
At 9 p.m., FNC’s “The Kelly File” topped the timeslot with a demo audience of 524,000. Fox News Channel also won total day and primetime in both metrics on Wednesday.