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Friday Ratings: Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree…But Not The TV

Friday nights are, as we’ve noted before, incredibly weird. But, on the day after a big debate, with people nursing GOP hangovers and the political scene otherwise quiet and essentially shut down for the holidays, it ends up being doubly weird. Mix in the fact that the weekend before both Christmas and Hanukkah is likely full of parties, shopping, and other distractions pulling us away from our beloved cable news shows, and things get even shakier. So it’s wise to take these exceptionally-low numbers — it cannot be stressed enough — with a grain of salt.

The first sign that things were off? MSNBC’s relatively low numbers for their specials at 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. They normally pull far more viewers than they did this past Friday night, especially in the 25-to-54 year-old demo. And HLN, even though they often finish behind Fox News, CNN, and MSNBC, had smaller-than-usual numbers, with all but one of their shows (Nancy Grace) failing to attract 100,000 demo viewers.

Some other Friday night nuggets:

  • On a night when everyone else trended low, The Five (obviously buoyed by Mediaite’s interview with Greg Gutfeld) pulled in a very impressive 401,000 demo viewers. It was the cherry on top of a wonderful week for the show, as it had its second-highest week ever in the ratings.
  • Joy Behar, who was canceled and is now fully in repeats until her show is completely taken off the air next month, still managed to beat every program on the HLN slate, save for Grace and Showbiz Tonight.
  • In a night where nearly everyone was markedly down in a bizarro evening of numbers, Erin Burnett gets a pass for having her second-lowest night in the ratings. The silver lining? She still beat Issues at 7 p.m. by 20,000 demo viewers. More silver lining? Year-end numbers show OutFront to be up in total viewers over last year.
  • The rest of your Friday night ratings:

    TV NEWS RATINGS: 25-54 DEMOGRAPHIC (L +SD)
    Fox News CNN MSNBC CNN Headline News
    5 pm The5 

    401

    Blitzer 

    132

    Matthews 

    102

    Special 

    50

    6 pm Baier 

    372

    King, USA 

    112

    Sharpton 

    135

    Prime 

    49

    7 pm Shep 

    312

    Burnett 

    78

    Matthews 

    119

    Issues 

    58

    8 pm O’Reilly 

    618

    Cooper 

    107

    Schultz 

    112

    Grace 

    131

    9 pm Hannity 

    429

    Piers 

    101

    Maddow 

    204

    Dr. Drew 

    54

    10 pm Greta 

    361

    Cooper 

    104

    MSNBC Inv. 

    86

    Behar 

    62

    11 pm O’Reilly 

    456

    Burnett 

    95

    MSNBC Inv. 

    166

    Showbiz 

    64

    TOTAL DAY 329 110 111 72
    PRIME TIME 470 104 134 82
    Data by Nielsen Media Research. Live and same day (DVR) data.
    TV NEWS RATINGS: TOTAL VIEWERS (L +SD)
    Fox News CNN MSNBC CNN Headline News
    5 pm The5 

    1,739

    Blitzer 

    682

    Matthews 

    627

    Special 

    172

    6 pm Baier 

    1,979

    King, USA 

    472

    Sharpton 

    692

    Prime 

    210

    7 pm Shep 

    1,727

    Burnett 

    332

    Matthews 

    576

    Issues
    272
    8 pm O’Reilly 

    3,027

    Cooper 

    353

    Schultz 

    704

    Grace 

    462

    9 pm Hannity 

    1,912

    Piers 

    435

    Maddow 

    942

    DrDrew 

    292

    10 pm Greta 

    1,351

    Cooper 

    424

    MSNBC Inv. 

    351

    Behar 

    290

    11 pm O’Reilly 

    1,229

    Burnett 

    283

    MSNBC Inv. 

    438

    Showbiz 

    262

    TOTAL DAY 1,373 413 454 247
    PRIME TIME 2,111 404 666 344
    Data by Nielsen Media Research. Live and same day (DVR) data.

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