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Aug 16, 2023

By A.J. Katz on Aug. 29, 2023 - 3:55 PM

On Wednesday, August 23, Fox News’ first Republican primary debate of the 2024 election cycle was the most-watched program in all of linear TV for the month. The primetime broadcast drew 14.47 million total viewers and 3.12 million Adults 25-54. The figures include the original airing across Fox News Channel and Fox Business (12.8 million viewers), multiple re-airings on both networks, and viewing on digital and streaming platforms. Fox’s first GOP primary debate is the most-watched non-sports cable telecast of the year to-date.

In terms of daily cable news programming, new month, but a similar trend: The Five is the most-watched show on all of cable news for the month of August 2023.

Fox’s panel talk news show averaged more than 2.73 million total viewers in August at 5 p.m. Jesse Watters Primetime took second place in total cable news viewers for the third consecutive month, averaging 2.48 million in August at 8 p.m. Watters is followed by Hannity (2.39 million at 9 p.m.), MSNBC’s The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell (2.04 million at 10 p.m.) and Gutfeld! (1.955 million at 10 p.m.) rounding out the top five for August 2023.

Fox News is home to 70 of the 110 most watched cable news telecasts, six of the 10 most-watched cable news shows, including the top three for August 2023. MSNBC has the other four top 10 cable news shows for August, led by the aforementioned The Last Word.

MSNBC’s Morning Joe was the most-watched morning cable news program in August, delivering the most-watched month in more than two years.

Fox News and MSNBC are home to the 25 most-watched cable news shows in August. No. 26 is CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360, averaging 907,000 total viewers at 8 p.m.

Here are the 10 most-watched cable news shows for July 2023, as per live-plus-same-day data from Nielsen.

August 2023 Cable News Program Ranker (Total Viewers)

How about the top cable news shows among Adults 25-54? After all, this is a demographic that advertisers of TV news still focus their ad dollars on.

Hannity, not The Five, has earned first place in August when it came to drawing the A25-54 demo. Fox’s 9 p.m. constant edged The Five by a +2,000 Adults 25-54 viewer average in August (289,000 vs. 287,000).

After Hannity and The Five, Gutfeld! (278,000), Jesse Watters Primetime (243,000), and MSNBC’s The Last Word (211,000) round out August’s top five in the key demo.

Below are the top 10 cable news shows in the key demo for August ’23, as per live-plus-same-day data from Nielsen. Please note that MSNBC’s The ReidOut and Fox News’ The Ingraham Angle averaged the same number of Adults 25-54 over the same number of telecasts in August.

Below, the full cable news program ranker sorted by most to fewest Adults 25-54:

August 2023 Cable News Program Ranker (Adults 25-54)

Jesse WattersLawrence O’DonnellAnderson CooperBret BaierAri MelberAlex WagnerChris HayesAnderson Cooper