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Boasting the only sit-down with Supreme Court Justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh on Monday night as the once sure thing faces accusations of past sexual assaults before his confirmation, Fox News Channel averaged 3.6 million viewers for the interview.
Naturally, it nabbed primetime-level numbers in its pre-primetime 7 p.m. time slot, topping the rest of cable news for the night. Martha MacCallum’s interview with Kavanaugh marked her biggest episode to date, raking in an average 610,000 viewers in the news demo of adults 25-54. (The host and her show, The Story With Martha MacCallum, moved into the 7 o’clock hour in January 2017.)
Kavanaugh was a booking coup, albeit a non-surprising one for Fox News. The SCOTUS nominee isn’t making the rounds during this period of heightened scrutiny, so MacCallum’s sit-down is the get of the moment.
Talk between the pair and Kavanaugh’s wife, Ashley, focused almost exclusively on the allegations of sexual assault and attempted rape against him. Throughout his firm denial, Kavanaugh’s defense included his assurance that he remained a virgin for “many years” after college and thus could not have attempted to rape college professor Dr. Christine Blasey Ford at a Maryland house party when they were both in high school. (A second woman, claiming Kavanaugh assaulted her at Yale, has also come forward.)
Compared to MacCallum’s typical showing in the hour, viewership was up 86 percent on Monday night.
FNC loses its exclusivity window on the SCOTUS scandal on Thursday, when initial accuser Ford and Kavanaugh are expected to potentially testify in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Needless to say, coverage will be wall-to-wall.
While MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow recently enjoyed her most-watched week ever, and MSNBC continues to reap the benefits of an interested liberal base, Fox News, the favored cable news network of the right, retains its No. 1 status in primetime and total day. Fox News flagship Sean Hannity still sits atop all of cable news with an average nightly audience of just nearly 3.3 million viewers during the third quarter — just over 600,000 of them in the key news demo of adults 25-54.
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