MSNBC bests CNN in November primetime

'Maddow' passes 'King' in viewers; Fox News tops overall

NEW YORK -- MSNBC's talkers toppled CNN for three hours in primetime in November, with freshman "The Rachel Maddow Show" passing "Larry King Live" for a second month in the demo.

"Maddow" has been an unqualified success for the network, which not long ago had been counted out as challenging anyone at any time. "Maddow" averaged 672,000 adults 25-54 viewers in November, compared with 565,000 for veteran talkmeister King, Nielsen said Wednesday. For the first time to date for a month, "Maddow" beat "King" in total viewers, too -- 1.8 million to 1.7 million.

"Countdown With Keith Olbermann" beat CNN at 8 p.m., as did "Hardball With Chris Matthews" at 7 p.m.

Fox News Channel dominated the cable newsers overall, thanks to wins at 7 p.m. for "The Fox Report," 8 p.m. for "The O'Reilly Factor" and 9 p.m. for "Hannity & Colmes." It was a little different at 10 p.m., where CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360" won for a second straight month over Fox News' "On the Record With Greta van Susteren" in adults 25-54. "Cooper" has won six of the past 11 months in the demo.

Fox News remains the most-watched cable news channel, as it has been for 83 straight months. It was the third-most-watched network in all of cable for primetime and fourth in total day. Fox News also retained more of its viewership after Election Day than MSNBC or CNN.

CNN had its best month since November 2001 in total day, giving it a win among 25-54 as well as its highest primetime ratings in a decade. CNN also won 4-7 p.m. with "The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer."