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Trump Gives Fox News Most-Watched Cable News Town Hall Ever

Encore presentation of political event also won its late-night time slot

Fox News Channel hosted an election town hall with incumbent President Donald Trump Thursday night and set a cable news record in the process, according to early Nielsen data.

Airing from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. ET, the town hall brought in 4.2 million total average viewers, making it the most-watched cable news town hall of all time. Of those 4.2 million, 744,000 viewers were in the advertiser-coveted age demographic of 25 to 54.

The encore presentation at 11 p.m. ET brought in 1.957 million total average viewers, 422,000 of whom were in the key demo.

During the 6:30 p.m. timeslot, for comparison, MSNBC had 1.440 million total average viewers with 239,000 in the demo. CNN was lowest in total average viewers with 1.032 million, but higher in the demo than MSNBC, with 251,000. At 11 p.m., as Fox News ran its encore of the town hall, MSNBC had 1.706 million total average viewers with 260,000 in the demo. Again, CNN had the least total average viewers with 1.102 million, but the second-highest demo total, with 336,000.

The town hall worked out well for Fox News in other ways, too. Trump defended the network’s talent against an online critic Friday morning, tweeting praise for co-moderators Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum. In recent months, he’s been critical of some Fox News talent, including MacCallum specifically.