NEW YORK — The week President Donald Trump was acquitted in his impeachment trial was Fox News Channel’s best in the ratings since the weeks he was elected and inaugurated.
The Nielsen company said Fox News averaged 4.27 million viewers in prime time last week, better than any network except for ABC, which televised the Academy Awards, and CBS.
It was the fifth most-watched week ever for Fox's prime-time schedule, and highest since election week 2016, Nielsen said. The only other times Fox topped that mark came during two weeks in March 2003, during the Iraq War, and the August week in 2015 when the network showed the year's first Republican debate — the first one Trump participated in.
Measuring the entire day instead of just the evening hours, it was Fox's best week since January 2017, when Trump took office.
Fox News is Trump's favorite network, although he's grumbled when there are some things on the air that aren't to his liking, and the destination of choice for his supporters, too. Besides his impeachment acquittal last week, Trump delivered a State of the Union address highly regarded by his fans, and the Iowa caucus turned into a dysfunctional mess for Democrats.
Led by Sean Hannity's average of 4.9 million viewers, it was the most-watched week ever for all three of Fox's prime-time opinion shows, Nielsen said. "Tucker Carlson Tonight” averaged 4.7 million viewers, and “The Ingraham Angle” had 4.1 million viewers.
Of the 40 most-watched programs on cable television last week, 39 were on Fox News — with one lonely Rachel Maddow show on MSNBC the exception.
ABC topped the broadcasters in prime time with an average of 7.7 million viewers, despite the lowest-rated Oscars broadcast of all time. CBS averaged 4.8 million viewers, NBC had 4.1 million, Fox broadcasting had 3.2 million, Univision had 1.4 million, ION Television had 1.3 million, Telemundo had 1 million and the CW had 640,000.
After Fox News, the most popular cable networks in prime time were MSNBC with 1.59 million viewers, HGTV with 1.21 million, TLC with 1.16 million and CNN with 1.13 million.
ABC's “World News Tonight” led the evening news ratings race with an average of 9.2 million viewers. NBC's “Nightly News” was second with 8.3 million and the “CBS Evening News” had 6.1 million.
For the week of Feb. 3-9, the 10 most popular shows, their networks and viewerships:
1. “The Oscars,” ABC, 23.57 million.
2. “Live From the Red Carpet” (7:30 to 8 p.m. Eastern), ABC, 11.91 million.
3. “State of the Union,” Fox News, 11.68 million.
4. “State of the Union Analysis" (10:25 to 10:32 p.m. Eastern), Fox News, 11.67 million.
5. “Live From the Red Carpet” (7 to 7:30 p.m.), ABC, 9.33 million.
6. “State of the Union Preview,” Fox News, 9.3 million.
7. “Young Sheldon,” CBS, 8.99 million.
8. “Chicago Med,” NBC, 8.67 million.
9. “Chicago Fire,” NBC, 8.19 million.
10. “Democratic Presidential Debate,” ABC, 7.87 million.