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Hannity tops Maddow in first head-to-head matchup
Fox News's Sean Hannity topped MSNBC's Rachel Maddow in the first 9 p.m. EST head-to-head matchup between the two cable news heavyweights on Monday night.
According to Nielsen Media Research, the conservative Hannity delivered 3.3 million total viewers and 666,000 in the 25-54 demographic advertisers covet most, making the program the most watched in all of basic cable.
Maddow brought in 2.7 million total viewers and 591,000 viewers in the demographic to finish second in the time slot. CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360" finished third with 1.5 million total viewers and 470,000 in the demographic.
"The Rachel Maddow Show" has been leading the way in recent months, finishing the third quarter as the highest-rated program in cable news. It marks the first time any MSNBC show has finished as the No. 1 program in cable news.
Hannity announced several big bookings for his first week against Maddow on Monday.
Former Fox News host Bill O'Reilly is slated to appear on his Tuesday program. It follows a Monday interview with former White House chief strategist and current Breitbart executive chairman Stephen Bannon.
O'Reilly has not been seen on the network since his ouster on April 19 amid sexual harassment allegations.
Hannity also announced House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) will appear on Wednesday. Conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh, who rarely does television interviews, is slated for Thursday.
Despite many changes at the network, Fox News beat MSNBC and CNN for the 63rd consecutive quarter.