2:15pm PT by Michael O'Connell
TV Ratings: Fox News' Sit-down With Bin Laden Shooter Hits Time Slot High, Sets Records
On the heels its big win for midterm election coverage, Fox News Channel has been going full throttle this week on its latest get: Navy SEAL Robert O’Neill.
Peter Doocy landed the first-ever interview with O'Neill, who shot and killed Osama Bin Laden in 2011 during Operation Neptune Spear, and the cable net has been eager to plug it throughout its schedule. (Between O'Neill and Megyn Kelly narrowly avoiding an F-bomb, FNC has been getting a lot of attention this week.)
Well, the cross-promotion paid off: Coverage culminated in Tuesday and Wednesday's documentary special The Man Who Killed Osama Bin Laden. Per Nielsen Media Research, Tuesday netted 2.7 million viewers at 10 p.m. — 532,000 of them adults 25-54 — and ranked as the biggest cable news showing in the key demo for the entire day. The show improved even more on Wednesday. The nearly 3.4 million viewers set a network record for the most-watched special in FNC history. It also pulled 586,000 adults 25-54.
Needless to say, those numbers bested CNN's and MSNBC's combined, but FNC's bigger victory might be over itself.
Compared to the typical performance this quarter for the time slot, regularly helmed by Sean Hannity, the special marked an 88 percent jump among total viewers and a 77 percent improvement in the demo. Excluding the January State of the Union address and last week's election, it was also the network's most watched 10 p.m. hour of 2014.
Update, Nov. 13, 2:45 p.m. Additional information about Wednesday ratings added.