Fox News most-watched network for Trump's Supreme Court rollout

Fox News most-watched network for Trump's Supreme Court rollout
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump rallies in Nevada amid Supreme Court flurry: 'We're gonna get Brett' Trump: 'Good news' that Obama is campaigning again Trump boosts Heller, hammers 'Wacky Jacky' opponent in Nevada MORE's announcement of Brett Kavanaugh as his nominee to the Supreme Court drew 6.6 million total viewers for Fox News on Monday night, making it the most-watched network for live coverage of the event.

Fox topped cable news rivals MSNBC and CNN combined, which registered 2.03 million and 1.59 million viewers, respectively, for the prime-time rollout of Trump's nominee to replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy on the high court.

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According to preliminary numbers from Nielsen Media Research, ABC News led in the key 25–54-year-old demographic that advertisers covet most, delivering 1.5 million viewers in the category, topping Fox News's 1.35 million and CBS's 783,000 in the category.

Final numbers will be available later Tuesday afternoon. 

Trump on Monday night announced Kavanaugh, a 53-year-old judge on the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals, as his pick to replace Kennedy in a nationally televised event from the East Room of the White House.

The announcement in prime time — something Trump similarly did last year when unveiling his first pick for the Supreme Court, Justice Neil Gorsuch — drew some flak.

A Tuesday headline on Salon, for example, read, "Trump's SCOTUS Reality TV Show: When Networks Help the President Win Ratings, Democracy Loses."

"To treat a historic decision that stands to shift the direction of our country for decades like a reality TV finale, the opportunity for the ultimate ratings grab, is the ultimate act of solipsism," reads the opening line of the piece from Salon TV critic Melanie McFarland.

"Trump’s Reality TV Supreme Court Rollout, Slick and Substance-Free," read a New York Times headline. 

"I’ll spare you most of the jokes about how President Trump turned the Supreme Court nomination into a reality show. You’ve probably heard them already," writes Times TV critic  James Poniewozik. "The process so mirrored 'The Bachelor,' several folks quipped, that Mr. Trump would ask his nominee, 'Will you accept this robe?'"

"And look, it’s funny because it’s true. The Apprentice Administration was not especially subtle about flogging the prime time revelation of Anthony M. Kennedy’s proposed replacement as if it were a shocking season finale," Poniewozik added. 

Trump was the star of NBC's "The Apprentice" from 2004 to 2015 before announcing his candidacy for president.