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Considering the audience he’s been carrying with him, it’s little surprise that Donald Trump quickly made good with Fox New Channel — speaking with two of the cable news network’s shows on Tuesday.
The call-in to Fox & Friends and the evening sit-down with Sean Hannity predictably perked up ratings, still swelling after last week’s astronomical 24-million haul brought by the GOP primary debate.
It was a particular boon to Hannity. The 10 p.m. show scored a rare nightly victory in the key demo of adults 25-54, surging 138 percent from the same night last year for an average 2.2 million viewers. With the total audience, that put him behind only lead-ins The O’Reilly Factor and The Kelly File as cable news’ most-watched of the night.
When all was said and done, the GOP debate wasn’t just the most-watched program on U.S. television last week — it drove FNC to its best primetime ratings since 2003, averaging 4.4 million viewers. That’s nearly triple the average of No. 2 TNT. It marks the network’s highest-rated week in 12 years and trails only the first two weeks of the 2003 invasion of Iraq as the highest-rated of all time.
All of the attention around FNC host Megyn Kelly, who Trump has relentlessly criticized since she called him out on his characterizations of women during the debate, has only helped The Kelly File. Monday’s episode, in which she said she would not be apologizing for “doing good journalism,” topped all of cable news in the key demo — even lead-in and typical victor The O’Reilly Factor.
On Tuesday night, Kelly ranked No. 2 to Hannity, averaging 503,000 adults 25-54.
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