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A new primetime lineup is already paying off for Fox News, posting improvements across the board in total viewership and the key cable demographic among adults 25-54.
The cable news network’s shifted primetime schedule saw 2.13 million average total viewers Monday through Friday during its debut week. Fox News saw a 24% increase in total viewership across all primetime hours, 7-11 p.m., as compared to the months leading up to the shifted schedule. From April 24 to July 14 of this year, the network averaged 1.96 million total viewers, according to Nielsen-live-plus-same-day figures.
As expected, Fox News also improved in demo viewers, landing 202,000 adults 25-54 and marking a 23% increase from the period before the change, during which Fox News’ averaged 164,000 demo viewers.
Compared to the week before the changes — in which the network had 1.78 million average primetime viewers — Fox’s new lineup saw a 20% increase in total viewership during the primetime programming. As for the demo, Fox News primetime nabbed a 27% increase in viewership across the all-important age range, which sat at 159,000 adults 25-54 the week before the lineup debut.
The week also included a town hall with former President and 2024 candidate Donald Trump, hosted by Sean Hannity on July 18 during his 9 p.m. hour show. The event drew 2.85 million total viewers, making it Fox’s most-watched town hall of the 2024 presidential election cycle. On the second day of the shifted schedule, the network saw a 40% gain in the 7-11 p.m. ET demo compared to night one. It’s important to note that the Trump event undoubtedly boosted this week’s ratings.
Fox News is now considering their primetime hours to be from 7 p.m. ET to 11 p.m. ET to include Laura Ingraham’s “The Ingraham Angle,” which airs daily during the 7 p.m. hour. According to Nielsen, however, primetime is still measured in accordance with the 8-11 p.m. ET hours.
“The Ingraham Angle” was the only hour of Fox’s primetime schedule that did not make overall improvements, seeing a 3% decrease in total viewership, grabbing 1.89 million average viewers compared to 1.96 million the previous period. The 7 p.m. hour also saw a 5% decrease in the demo, with “The Ingraham Angle” only securing 163,000 average viewers across adults 25-54, compared to 172,000 average viewers in the months before the shift. It is notable, however, that Jesse Watters held the 7 p.m. hour prior to the shift, and this ratings drop compared to the other primetime hours reflects that as more viewers flocked to his new 8 p.m. show.
Watters’ new 8 p.m. home saw the largest increase during debut week, nabbing an average of 2.32 million total viewers, up 50% from the months following Tucker Carlson’s departure from the network. The ratings for the 8 p.m. hour effectively cut in half after Carlson’s exit, dropping from 3.02 million average viewers on Carlson’s final week to an average of 1.53 million total viewers in his absence. During this period, the program titled “Fox News Tonight” was hosted by a rotating cast of Fox News regulars including Kayleigh McEnany, Brian Kilmeade and Will Cain. The new lineup aims to pad the Fox schedule and promote Watters to center stage for the reboot.
Watters also improved in the demo, scoring 198,000 adults in the age range, a 34% increase from the months leading to when the new lineup debuted. From April 24 to July 14, the 8 p.m. hour only saw 148,000 average adult viewers 25-54.
Throughout the week, Hannity saw a 29% uptick in average viewership even though his time slot was unaffected, scoring 2.38 million total viewers, compared to 1.84 million average viewers in the months before the changes. His 9 p.m. ET show also gained 20% in the demo, nabbing 206,000 average adult viewers 25-54 compared to 171,000 previously.
With “Gutfeld!” being pushed up an hour to 10 p.m. ET, the show still managed to nab 1.95 million average total viewers and dominate the demo, averaging 241,000 adult viewers 25-54.
An overall bump was expected with the announcement of the new primetime programming, and time will tell whether Fox News is able to maintain jump-started ratings with this lineup.