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Rachel Maddow's ratings continue to slump even during bustling news cycle; CNN's viewership skyrockets


Fox News continues to dominate the cable news ratings war

Nathan Congleton/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

Despite a bustling news cycle fueled by the coronavirus pandemic news as well as nationwide protests and riots, MSNBC's "The Rachel Maddow Show" continued to suffer from slumping ratings. Maddow's cable news program has been fading fast in the ratings ever since special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation closed without the desired outcome that Maddow preached to her progressive audience.

In May, "The Rachel Maddow Show" finished as the sixth-most-watched cable news program. This is the fourth consecutive month that MSNBC's most popular cable TV show placed outside the top five cable news programs among total viewers.

Maddow was beat in the ratings by CNN's "Cuomo Prime Time" in the coveted 25 to 54 demographic with 513,000 viewers compared to Maddow's 472,000. Even the usually basement-dwelling "Anderson Cooper 360" nearly tied Maddow in the key demo with 463,000 viewers. "The Rachel Maddow Show" has lost demo viewers for three straight months, viewers that advertisers look for before spending money on commercials.

Chris Cuomo's TV show put up respectable numbers in May thanks to his very questionable COVID-19 quarantine and regularly featuring the governor of New York, his brother Andrew Cuomo. In May, "Cuomo Prime Time" was CNN's top-rated show with 1.948 million total viewers, the highest ratings in the program's history.

With the COVID-19 pandemic, George Floyd protests, and historic unemployment, CNN saw its prime ratings skyrocket 117% from the same period a year ago, according to ratings data compiled by Nielsen. However, the network still only had 1.65 million total viewers.

Fox News was up 44% compared to the same time last year, and MSNBC increased a modest 16%. Fox News boasted an average prime time total audience of 3.441 million viewers, far ahead of second-place MSNBC that had 1.923 million viewers.

Fox News dominated the two other networks, and had the five most-watched shows in cable news in May. "Hannity" came in first place with a total audience of 4.231 million viewers, followed by "Tucker Carlson Tonight" with 4.192 million viewers, "The Five" had a viewership of 3.734 million viewers, "The Ingraham Angle" had 3.485 million viewers, and "Special Report with Bret Baier" reeled in 3.085 million viewers.

Fox News has now held the top spot in cable in total-day viewership for 47 straight months, and had its 221st consecutive month as the top-rated cable news network in total viewers across both total-day and prime time.

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