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Tuesday was a news day unlike any in recent memory, with guilty pleas for longtime Donald Trump aide Michael Cohen and guilty verdicts for his former campaign manager, Paul Manafort. MSNBC generally benefits from news cycles unfriendly to the Trump administration, and Tuesday and Wednesday nights were no different.
Primetime host Rachel Maddow enjoyed her second best ratings night in history (3.89 million total viewers) on Tuesday, and on both nights she edged out her 9 p.m. competition, Fox News’ Sean Hannity.
On Tuesday night, MSNBC had five evening shows in the top total across all of cable, and on Wednesday it placed four shows in the top 10.
On Tuesday night, Maddow led all of cable news, followed by Lawrence O’Donnell’s MSNBC show (3.34 million total viewers). She led again on Wednesday night (3.57 million total viewers), followed by Hannity (3.14 million total viewers) and then O’Donnell’s show (2.65 million total viewers).
Still, despite the strength of MSNBC’s primetime lineup, Fox News won total day on Tuesday, while MSNBC narrowly won the category on Wednesday.
Even with her victories on Tuesday and Wednesday night, Maddow’s show is still expected to trail Hannity’s — which ruled all of basic cable in July — for the month of August.
With cameras glued to the Manafort courthouse in Virginia and to federal court in Manhattan for Cohen’s plea, the day was a one-two punch of events tailor-made for cable news.
On Thursday morning, Fox News aired an exclusive interview with President Trump, who made news with his comments about “flipping,” a potential Democratic congressional effort to impeach him and additional rebukes of Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ Justice Department.
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