Amid a tumultuous week of political events, most notable among them being the firing of FBI director James Comey, news network MSNBC has enjoyed exceptional ratings for three nights in a row. Network star Rachel Maddow helped drive the ratings lead over competitors Fox and CNN.
MSNBC was at the top of primetime hours among the coveted demographic of adults 25-to-54 on Thursday, with an average of 635,000 viewers, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Maddow was highest ranked across all cable news, with 734,000 demo viewers and 2.87 million viewers. Brian Williams, however, also scored a surprising victory. His 11 P.M. show took third for views in all of cable news on Thursday night. This was just behind Lawrence O'Donnell's "The Last Word," which came in at No. 2, and outperformed Fox's Tucker Carlson by 12 percent within the demo.
Fox News retained its place as number one in viewers across all demographics, but trailed MSNBC among the target demo. The usually leading network has seen some shakeups in recent weeks, following the controversial departure of former host Bill O'Reilly.
Carlson replaced O'Reilly, and while he did not outperform his predecessor, also-shifted show The Five did well in its new 9:00 spot. The Five averaged 535,000 adults 25-to-54, while Carlson received 480,000. Carlson also undeperformed Sean Hannity, who pulled in 494,000.
The Hollywood Reporter hypothesized that more viewers were being drawn to the left-leaning MSNBC due to its coverage of the Trump administration.