Rare Limbaugh TV appearance delivers Fox a win over Maddow

A rare television appearance from talk radio host Rush Limbaugh generated big ratings for Fox News and new 9 p.m. ET host Sean Hannity. 
Limbaugh's sit-down with Hannity delivered 3.715 million total viewers and 779,000 in the key 25-54 demographic that advertisers covet most, according to Nielsen Media Research. The numbers made Hannity the most-watched program in cable news. 
MSNBC's Rachel Maddow was second at 9 p.m. with 2.549 million total viewers and 537,000 in the younger demographic. CNN's Anderson Cooper finished third with 940,000 total viewers and 341,000 in the demographic. 
Hannity has featured several ratings-generating guests throughout the week, including former White House Chief Strategist Stephen Bannon, former Fox News host Bill O'Reilly and Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanDems fight to protect Mueller amid Rosenstein rumors Jordan wants Rosenstein to testify before House Judiciary Committee Kamala Harris calls for Senate to protect Mueller probe as Rosenstein faces potential dismissal MORE (R-Wis.). 

O'Reilly, who was with Fox News for 21 years before his ouster on April 19 amid reports of multiple sexual harassment settlements, has been the biggest draw this week, attracting nearly 4 million viewers on Tuesday. He has appeared on several television and radio programs on his book tour for "Killing England," including NBC's "Today Show" and Hannity's national radio program last week.  

Hannity, a staunch supporter of President Trump, was moved to 9 p.m. to directly compete with the progressive Maddow after Fox juggled its lineup after the announcement earlier this month that conservative radio host Laura Ingraham was awarded her own program at 10 p.m. starting Oct. 30
"The Rachel Maddow Show" was the most-watched cable news show in July and August.