TV Ratings: CNN's Town Hall Draws Nearly 3 Million Viewers

The event, led by Jake Tapper, bests cable news during its two-hour run.
Screengrab/CNN

CNN put together a town hall on guns in America Wednesday night, allowing students and parents affected by the horrific mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School to engage with GOP senator Marco Rubio and NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch.

The two-hour event led cable news while it aired, averaging nearly 3 million viewers and topping typical rivals MSNBC and Fox News by all measures. 

Not only did the coverage lead among total viewers, it scored an easy win in the adults 25-54 demographic — doubling its rivals with 1.1 million viewers in the group. The special also achieved a rare lift for the old-skewing cable news among adults 18-34, earning 310,000 younger viewers. (Fox News Channel, by contrast, fetched fewer than 50,000 viewers in that demo during the same time period. MSNBC did little better with 74,000 viewers.)

Coverage began with a memorial for the 17 victims of the shooting and a call for action to stem the trend of gun violence in schools and other public places. Democratic officials spoke of the need to take assault rifles off the streets, while people like Rubio described a more nuanced situation while fielding questions from victims.