TV Ratings: Election Coverage Gives Fox News' Megyn Kelly a New Best
UPDATED: With big off-year races in New Jersey and New York City, the tight battle for Virginia governor draws the biggest audiences to FNC at 9 p.m. -- while MSNBC's Rachel Maddow also sees solid growth and CNN still lags in third place.
It may not have been the most eventful election, but Tuesday's off-year races in a handful of states brought lifted ratings for cable's big three news networks.
Megyn Kelly, a month into her new primetime series, reaped the biggest ratings rewards. The Kelly File averaged 2.87 million viewers and 654,000 adults 25-54 during the 9 p.m. hour. It marks a demo best for the young broadcast, which saw last night's episode be the first to call Virginia's tight gubernatorial race in favor of Democrat Terry McAuliffe.
Competition Rachel Maddow on MSNBC was also up significantly, averaging second place in both measures with 1.267 million viewers and 313,000 adults 25-54. Embattled CNN, which saw multiple lows in the last week, was also up -- though not with the customary election dominance it tends to see. The network placed third in both measures, with Piers Morgan taking in 734,000 viewers and 224,000 in the demo.
The night's other races -- an expected reelection for New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and New York City crowning Bloomberg heir apparent Bill de Blasio as its new mayor -- prompted lifts throughout primetime.
FNC, which had Bret Baier breaking in with updates throughout primetime, averaged 2.729 million viewers and 593,000 adults 25-54 between 8 and 11 p.m. MSNBC took in 1.035 million viewers over the course of the night, 244,000 of them in the adults demo.
And CNN, still in third but much-improved from the last week, brought in 664,000 viewers and 224,000 adults 25-54 for its lowest-rated off-year election night in over a decade. CNN's morning, on the other hand, so no such improvement. New Day suffered its fourth lowest-rated show to date, pulling just 64,000 viewers in the adults 25-54 demo. The young broadcast's worst showing was on Aug. 20, with 59,000 demo viewers. The series, averaging 106,000 adults 25-54 since its launch, is still up 3 percent from the same time slot showing a year ago.