Rachel Maddow Tops Cable Ratings; Nielsen Week In Review
President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with FIFA president Gianni Infantino and United States Soccer Federation Carlos Cordeiro in the Oval Office of the White House, Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
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If it’s a lousy week for President Donald Trump, it’s usually a good week for Rachel Maddow.

MSNBC’s marquee personality took advantage of a busy week of bad news for the president, led by former lawyer Michael Cohen’s plea deal and former campaign manager Paul Manafort’s conviction on corruption charges.

She had the top-rated show on cable television on Tuesday with 3.89 million viewers. Maddow beat the usual cable ratings leader, Fox News Channel’s Sean Hannity, for the week. Hannity won August overall.

Even MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell managed to tie Hannity’s best showing of the week. MSNBC spread the love around the dial: its “Morning Joe” had its best ratings week ever, the Nielsen company said.

Behind its summer juggernaut “America’s Got Talent,” now being shown on two nights, NBC won the week in prime-time with an average of 4.9 million viewers. CBS had 4 million viewers, ABC had 3.6 million, Fox had 2.6 million, ION Television had 1.4 million, Univision and Telemundo were tied with 1.21 million and the CW had 770,000.

Fox News Channel led the cable networks with an average of 2.26 million viewers, taking advantage of its weekend strength. MSNBC had 2.12 million, USA had 1.42 million, HGTV had 1.39 million and CNN had 1.27 million.

ABC’s “World News Tonight” topped the evening newscasts with an average of 8 million viewers. The “NBC Nightly News” had 7.4 million and the “CBS Evening News” had 5.7 million.

Below are primetime viewership numbers compiled by Nielsen for Aug. 20-26. Listings include the week’s ranking and viewership.

1. “America’s Got Talent” (Tuesday), NBC, 11.21 million.
2. “America’s Got Talent” (Wednesday), NBC, 9.7 million.
3. “60 Minutes,” CBS, 7.38 million.
4. NFL Exhibition Game: Arizona at Dallas, NBC, 7.17 million.
5. NFL Exhibition Game: Philadelphia at Cleveland,” Fox, 6.5 million.
6. “Celebrity Family Feud,” ABC, 6.31 million.
7. “NFL Pre-Game Show,” NBC, 6.12 million.
8. “The Big Bang Theory,” CBS, 5.83 million.
9. “Big Brother” (Wednesday), CBS, 5.72 million.
10. “Big Brother” (Sunday), CBS, 5.67 million.
11. “Big Brother” (Thursday), CBS, 5.63 million.
12. “NCIS,” CBS, 5.24 million.
13. “The $100,000 Pyramid,” ABC, 5.16 million.
14. “Dateline Classic,” NBC, 5.13 million.
15. “World of Dance,” NBC, 5.06 million.
16. “American Ninja Warrior,” NBC, 5.01 million.
17. “NFL Pre-Game Show,” Fox, 4.9 million.
18. “Mom,” CBS, 4.89 million.
19. “America’s Funniest Home Videos,” ABC, 4.72 million.
20. “Bachelor in Paradise” (Monday), ABC, 4.62 million.

ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Co.; CBS is a division of CBS Corp.; Fox is owned by 21st Century Fox; NBC is owned by NBC Universal.


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