According to Nielsen, the Tucker Carlson Tonight show was the top cable news show in total viewers in May, with an average of 2.94 million, followed by Hannity with 2.63 million, The Five at 2.63 million, The Rachel Maddow Show with 2.52 million and The Ingraham Angle with 2.06 million.
Fox News dominated the competition in May, but overall cable news viewership declined from the same period in 2020, when the presidential election and Covid-19 drove the news programs to higher rates. The Biden presidency doesn’t offer the kind of compelling drama of the 2020 election cycle.
In primetime, Fox News averaged 2.17 million viewers, down 37% from the same period a year earlier; MSNBC posted 1.49 million, down 22%; and CNN drew under one million — 913,000, down a concerning 45%.
Across America, Tucker Carlson had three of the top five spots for cable viewership, beat out only by the NBA playoffs.
Gay Americans, isolated as a group in the Nielsen survey, had completely different news preferences during the survey week of May 17. They are getting their news analysis on cable from Rachel Maddow, Chris Hayes, and Lawrence O’Donnell, all of MSNBC: