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MSNBC finished first in the key 25-54 demographic and in total viewers against its cable news rivals last week for the first time in its 21-year existence, according to Nielsen Research.
Overall, MSNBC finished second in all of basic cable, only falling to TNT, which aired several NBA playoff games.
Fox News finished third in primetime for the first time in nearly 17 years.
For the week of May 15, MSNBC's weekday prime averaged 2.440 million total viewers, with Fox second with 2.405 million and CNN third with 1.649 million.
For adults aged 25-54, MSNBC averaged 611,000 viewers. CNN finished second with 589,000 and Fox third with 497,000.
In terms of individual programs, "The Rachel MaddowRachel Anne MaddowRachel Maddow extends contract with MSNBC: reports OAN loses appeal in defamation lawsuit against Rachel Maddow Nunes sues MSNBC, alleging Rachel Maddow defamed him MORE Show" at 9 p.m. continued its ratings roll, finishing as the most-watched nonsports program for the week in all of basic cable.
Lawrence O'Donnell, who is still reportedly in negotiations with the network with his contract set to expire on June 4, was second overall in the cable news race for the week with "The Last Word" at 10 p.m.
Anderson Cooper led the way for CNN, winning his 8 p.m. slot for "AC 360" for five straight days last week over Fox and MSNBC. It marked the first time CNN had such a streak since right after the September 11th attacks at that hour.
CNN and MSNBC have been the beneficiaries of controversies and investigations surrounding President TrumpDonald TrumpJan. 6 committee chair says panel will issue a 'good number' of additional subpoenas Overnight Defense & National Security — Presented by AM General — Pentagon officials prepare for grilling Biden nominates head of Africa CDC to lead global AIDS response MORE that seemingly dictate the news cycle on a daily basis, with both networks now challenging Fox after getting decidedly beaten each year since 2001.
The last time Fox finished third for the week (Monday-Friday) was June of 2000.
The finish comes as the 21st Century Fox-owned network finished the first quarter of 2017 as the most-watched cable news network in all of basic cable and 2016 as its most-watched year in its 20-year history.
Fox is still winning the overall race in May, averaging 2.3 million in total viewers and 459,000 in the 25-54 demographic.