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Tuesday Ratings: The Last Word Up

Even with the volatility of the numbers, there are always certain sureties every night in the ratings: Bill O’Reilly will win the night, Fox News will have seven of the top seven shows, and Rachel Maddow will usually be in the top three of the non-FNC shows. On Tuesday night, O’Reilly captured 742,000 viewers in the 25-54 year-old demographic, but Fox didn’t grab the entire Top Seven; Maddow, who still had the highest non-FNC show, grabbed 351,000 demo viewers, which put her in fifth place on the night. She topped Greta Van Susteren, The Five, and Shepard Smith.

Still, even with Maddow cracking the Top Seven, the bigger surprise Tuesday night was probably Lawrence O’Donnell, who pulled in a relatively strong 252,000 demo viewers. And not only did he capture a larger-than-normal audience, he pulled closer to Van Susteren in the ratings. Maddow is still far behind Hannity in the demo at 9 p.m., but O’Donnell — who had his show moved from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. in October — now seems like the best threat to overtake a FNC show in the time slot (which, to be realistic, is a goal that seems entirely impossible for any show — O’Donnell’s just looks like the most likely). Van Susteren’s 332,000 viewers beat O’Donnell’s audience by just 70,000. There will have to be a perfect confluence of events for O’Donnell to overtake Van Susteren — continued strong lead-in performance from Maddow combined with further erratic ratings results from Van Susteren, for starters — but if there will ever be a crack in FNC’s impenetrable ratings armor, this is probably where it will occur.

Other nuggets from Tuesday night:

  • Nancy Grace had a strong night, with 219,000 demo viewers, which made her the third-strongest non-FNC show on the slate.
  • On a relatively low night for FNC, O’Reilly’s 742,000 demo viewers look even stronger than usual.
  • Just to follow-up on a weekend note that looks more fun in a new context, Mike Huckabee‘s GOP Presidential Forum on Saturday drew 408,000 demo viewers and 2.2 million overall viewers. As a reference point, the CBS Presidential debate, on a broadcast network, pulled just 5.3 million total viewers last month. It also aired on a Saturday.
  • Tuesday night’s full ratings:

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

    312

    Blitzer 

    175

    Matthews 

    169

    Special 

    88

    6 pm Baier 

    388

    King, USA 

    113

    Sharpton 

    165

    Prime 

    140

    7 pm Shep 

    315

    Burnett 

    145

    Matthews 

    195

    Issues 

    133

    8 pm O’Reilly 

    742

    Cooper 

    139

    Schultz 

    177

    Grace 

    219

    9 pm Hannity 

    480

    Piers 

    103

    Maddow 

    351

    Dr. Drew 

    121

    10 pm Van Susteren 

    332

    Cooper 

    173

    O’Donnell 

    252

    Behar 

    85

    11 pm O’Reilly 

    442

    Burnett 

    114

    Schultz 

    140

    Showbiz 

    73

    TOTAL DAY 310 130 146 90
    PRIME TIME 518 139 260 138
    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 

    1,550

    Blitzer 

    699

    Matthews 

    769

    Special 

    355

    6 pm Baier 

    1,990

    King, USA 

    444

    Sharpton 

    760

    Prime
    418
    7 pm Shep 

    1,745

    Burnett 

    438

    Matthews 

    844

    Issues 

    622

    8 pm O’Reilly 

    3,296

    Cooper 

    499

    Schultz 

    884

    Grace 

    622

    9 pm Hannity 

    2,188

    Piers 

    720

    Maddow 

    1,180

    DrDrew 

    331

    10 pm Greta 

    1,672

    Cooper 

    625

    O’Donnell
    956
    Behar 

    333

    11 pm O’Reilly 

    1,190

    Burnett 

    358

    Schultz
    548
    Showbiz 

    274

    TOTAL DAY 1,378 486 561 257
    PRIME TIME 2,393 616 1,006 420
    Data by Nielsen Media Research. Live and same day (DVR) data

    (Image credit: Damian Dovarganes)

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