In the first week of the head-to-head battle between Sean Hannity and Rachel Maddow, the conservative heavyweight drew significantly higher ratings than his liberal counterpart.
Hannity pulled out all the stops, bringing in Steve Bannon, Bill O’Reilly, Paul Ryan and Rush Limbaugh to boost his numbers. It appears to have worked: The Fox News pundit pulled in an average of 3,498,000 viewers from Monday through Thursday, with 713,000 in the key adult 25-54 demographic, according to early Nielsen figures.
Maddow averaged 2,649,000 viewers, with 599,000 adults 25-54. CNN’s 9 p.m. hour — which usually features Anderson Cooper’s “AC360,” but this week had two special town halls — finished third, with 1,173,000 viewers and 416,000 in the key demographic.
Rachel Maddow finished the third quarter at #1, the first time an MSNBC show has done so. Her ratings were up 75% over the same period last year, largely due to her dogged pursuit of Trump’s endless scandals.