Fox's Ingraham wins ratings race in debut

Fox's Ingraham wins ratings race in debut
© Fox News

Laura Ingraham kicked off her debut week on Fox News prime time with a victory over her MSNBC and CNN competition, according to early Nielsen Media Research ratings.

Ingraham, whose first show featured a rare interview with White House chief of staff John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE, delivered 3.274 million total viewers in her 10 p.m. time slot, besting Lawrence O'Donnell's 2.598 million on MSNBC and CNN's Don Lemon, who brought in 1.336 million.

In the key 25- to 54-year-old demographic that advertisers covet most, Ingraham registered 622,000 viewers, edging O'Donnell's 612,000 and Lemon's 511,000 to cap a busy news Monday that was dominated by coverage of special counsel Robert Mueller's indictment of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

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Overall, Fox News won the night by averaging 3.4 million viewers in prime time and 708,000 in the younger demographic.

MSNBC finished second, with a 2.673 million average of total viewers from 8 to 11 p.m., while taking home 654,000 in the key demographic. CNN was third, with 1.363 million total viewers and 506,000 in the 25–54 bracket.

The Monday numbers come as Nielsen Media Research shows Sean Hannity won the month of October in both total viewers and in the younger demographic in his first month against MSNBC's Rachel Maddow, who finished the third quarter as the most-watched host in cable news in both categories.

In October, Fox was the most-watched network in basic cable for a 16th consecutive month with an average of 1.5 million total viewers in the total day category, which runs from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The network also averaged 2.3 million viewers in prime time, which was second behind ESPN in a sports-heavy month with NFL and college football, along with the MLB playoffs.

Against its cable news competition, Fox has been the most-watched cable news network in total day and prime time for 190 straight months. 

Fox's prime-time lineup has seen several changes in the past year with the departures of 8 p.m. host Bill O'Reilly, 9 p.m. host Megyn Kelly and 7 p.m. host Greta Van Susteren.