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Ratings: Fox News Dominates; Bill O’Reilly Beats NBC Primetime

Thursday night’s ratings would have been excused if they were a little low; there was, after all, a World Series game, and MTV had the Jersey Shore season finale (and reunion!). But that wasn’t the case at all. Maybe it was Gadhafi’s murder, perhaps it was a string of repeats on other channels (Bill O’Reilly, for instance, beat out NBC repeats of Whitney and Community in total viewers), but the cable news networks posted some pretty strong numbers on the night as a whole, even if the tempting counter-programming hadn’t existed.

Some observations from around the dial:

  • No show on any of the four networks, from 5 p.m. to midnight, dipped below 123,000 viewers in the 25-54 demo. O’Reilly won the night with 550,000 viewers for his original 8 p.m. slot. And then his repeat at 11 p.m. beat every show on every other network throughout the night (Baier and Hannity, both on FOX, managed to beat his repeat).
  • Anderson Cooper‘s 8 p.m. airing was the highest-rated non-FOX show on Thursday in the 25-54 demo, with 332,000 viewers. His 10 p.m. repeat was CNN’s second-highest of the evening.
  • Jane Velez-Mitchell finished second at 7 p.m., behind FOX’s Shepard Smith. Coming in last in the time slot was Chris Matthews.
  • Lawrence O’Donnell‘s last appearance at 8 p.m. saw him just edging out Nancy Grace, 197,000 viewers to her 185,000, for third place. Ed Schultz‘s last appearance at 10 p.m. (O’Donnell and Schwartz will be swapping spots on Monday) also produced a third-place finish. Throughout the night, the only MSNBC personality to not finish in third or fourth in the demo was Rachel Maddow, who came in second place to Hannity at 9 p.m.
  • Here are the complete cable news ratings for Thursday night:

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

    307

    Blitzer 

    187

    Matthews 

    168

    Special 

    168

    6 pm Baier 

    445

    King, USA 

    215

    Sharpton 

    153

    Prime 

    156

    7 pm Shep 

    395

    Burnett 

    189

    Matthews 

    159

    Issues 

    205

    8 pm O’Reilly 

    550

    Cooper 

    332

    O’Donnell 

    197

    Grace 

    185

    9 pm Hannity 

    449

    Piers
    249
    Maddow 

    325

    DrDrew 

    184

    10 pm Van Susteren 

    324

    Cooper 

    300

    Schultz 

    1225

    Behar 

    177

    11 pm O’Reilly 

    440

    Burnett
    196
    O’Donnell 

    151

    Showbiz 

    134

    TOTAL DAY 330 206 142 128
    PRIME TIME 443 294 249 178
    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 

    1,431

    Blitzer 

    965

    Matthews 

    906

    Special 

    560

    6 pm Baier 

    1,952

    King, USA 

    854

    Sharpton 

    762

    Prime 

    571

    7 pm Shep 

    1,801

    Burnett 

    679

    Matthews 

    734

    Issues 

    690

    8 pm O’Reilly 

    2,993

    Cooper 

    891

    O’Donnell 

    937

    Grace 

    753

    9 pm Hannity 

    2,182

    Piers 

    777

    Maddow 

    1,097

    DrDrew 

    582

    10 pm Greta 

    1,319

    Cooper 

    789

    Ed Show 

    874

    Behar 

    495

    11 pm O’Reilly 

    1,314

    Burnett 

    482

    O’Donnell 

    544

    Showbiz 

    424

    TOTAL DAY 1,370 701 558 386
    PRIME TIME 2,167 819 971 600
    Data by Nielsen Media Research. Live and same day (DVR) data
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