The world is not enough for Rachel Maddow. Not satisfied with simply being the No. 1 cable news host at 9 p.m., the MSNBC host has now taken to complete and total domination of her time-slot rivals, at least as evidenced by last Friday’s ratings. Per Nielsen, the most recent edition of The Rachel Maddow Show attracted more viewers in the key news demographic of adults under 55 (711,000) than the demo audience of Fox News’ The Five and CNN’s Anderson Cooper combined (711,000). Maddow also pretty much matched the combined overall audience of her CNN and Fox News competitors, averaging 2.938 million total viewers Friday, compared to 1.987 million for Fox and 1.073 million for CNN.
Maddow has now outperformed the combined demo audience of her rivals three times this year, and her massive ratings surge has lifted MSNBC to its best-ever Nielsen numbers. Indeed, in terms of overall weekday prime-time audience, the NBCUniversal-owned channel was No. 1 among all cable networks last week — the first time in the 21-year history of MSNBC that has ever happened. To be sure, that last stat excludes Sunday nights, home to some of the biggest shows on cable. Nonetheless, the fact that MSNBC (and No. 2 Fox News) managed to draw more weeknight viewers than entertainment outlets such as Disney, USA, and HGTV is a sign of just how much President Trump has boosted the cable-news biz.