Rachel Maddow Tops Cable News as Ratings Thrive

Rachel Maddow Interview - H 2015
Courtesy of MSNBC/Charles Ommanney/ Reportage by Getty Images

The MSNBC host outperforms all of primetime — yes, even Fox News — among adults 25-54 for a full week.

Rachel Maddow, MSNBC's star player, is enjoying one hell of a ratings run right now.

The cable news network's 9 o'clock host outrated every other primetime show during the week of March 6. Not only did that make her show No. 1 among adults 25-54 in her time slot with an average 624,000 viewers, she even beat cable news' perennial victor — Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly.

Maddow, who makes no bones about her leftist take, beat her direct competition Tucker Carlson by 14 percent in the targeted news demo. That kind of win for MSNBC over Fox News, its best showing since the week of the 2012 election, last happened in October 2016. What's more compelling is how many people are tuning in. Her average 2.62 million viewers marks nearly an eight-year high and MSNBC's narrowest margins (coming within 1 percent) between Fox News to date.

The victory over O'Reilly, who airs during the 8 p.m. hour, comes with the noteworthy caveat that he had a substitute during his Friday telecast. (Monday through Thursday, O'Reilly won by an average 30,000 demo viewers.)

Halfway into U.S. President Donald Trump's first 100 days in office, Maddow's telecast has been one of the most dependably critical of the new administration. It's a boon for MSNBC, de facto positioned as the opposition to the GOP government — especially compared to the more right-leaning primetime on Fox News, the only cable organization currently getting interviews with the new commander in chief.

Maddow goes head-to-head with relatively green Fox News personality Tucker Carlson. He took over the time slot in January in the wake of Megyn Kelly's abrupt exit from the cable news network for a rich deal with NBC. Carlson's bookers are clearly pulling out all of the stops to compete with Maddow. Earlier on Monday, it was announced that Trump would use Carlson's show as his next TV platform.