There are many exceptions to this week's average ratings. FOX and CNN both had special programming during the week. But once the numbers were crunched, the averages for the regular programming left FOX at the top in all three prime time slots. HLN was not able to repeat their second finish in either the 8PM or 10PM hours.
Last week was the week for Presidential candidate profiles. FOX ran their profiles on Monday night (Obama) and Tuesday night (McCain) at 8PM. CNN ran their profiles on Wednesday night with Obama's starting at 8PM and McCain's starting at 9:30PM.
FOX's profiles won their time slots with 493,000 Adults 25-54 during the Obama profile and 569,000 Adults 25-54 during the McCain profile.
CNN's Revealed program on Wednesday night had 359,000 Adults 25-54 during the McCain 90 minute documentary and 566,000 Adults 25-54 during the Obama 90 minute documentary. CNN won the 10PM time compared to regular programming on the other networks.
This isn't very scientific, but FOX received higher ratings for the McCain profile while CNN received higher ratings for the Obama documentary. They aired on different days and different time slots, but the ratings difference doesn't surprise me.
1 4 day average. MSNBC Friday special programming excluded.
2 4 day average. CNN Wednesday Revealed documentaries excluded.
3 3 day average. CNN Wednesday Revealed documentaries excluded. Friday special programming excluded.
4 3 day average. FOX Monday & Tuesday candidate profiles excluded.
^ Courtesy Nielsen Media Research; Demographics where noted; Live + Same Day (LS) Fast Track Nationals.