As you can see above, there were several exceptions this week with the ratings. So, lets take a look at some of the special programming that was excluded from the weekly average first. President Obama's 8PM ET press conference on Wednesday resulted in CNN coming out ahead with 744,000 viewers (in the adults 25 - 54 demographic). Behind them came FOX with 657,000 viewers and MSNBC with 496,000 viewers. (HLN aired their regular programming.)
Following the press conference on Wednesday night, was the premiere of CNN's Black in America 2. How did it do? The program averaged 819,000 viewers (in the key demographic) between 9PM - 11PM ET. The average of the other networks who aired regular programming came up short against CNN. FOX averaged 795,000 viewers; MSNBC averaged 483,500 viewers; and HLN averaged 204,000 viewers.
On Thursday night was the second night of Black in America. Without the presidential lead in and the early time slot (8PM - 10PM) the program didn't do nearly as well. FOX came out with the higher two hour average (with regular programming) with 722,000 viewers. CNN averaged 569,000 viewers; MSNBC averaged 401,000 viewers; and HLN averaged 262,000 viewers.
The averages minus the special programming, leave us with FOX in first place in the demographic at all three prime time hours using a 4 night average at 8PM & 9PM and a five night average at 10PM.
CNN came in fourth place at 8PM using a 3 night average, third place at 9PM using a three night average, and second place at 10PM using a 4 night average.
MSNBC placed third at 8PM using a 4 night average, second at 9PM using a five night average, and third at 10PM using a 3 night average.
HLN is the only network of the four that used a five night average during all three prime time hours. They did well at 8PM coming in second but slipped to fourth for the week during both 9PM and 10PM.
1 FOX 4 night average used at 8PM & 9PM. Wednesday night is excluded as a result of special coverage for President Obama's prime time press conference.
2 CNN 3 night average used at 8PM and 9PM. Nights excluded: Wednesday 8PM for President Obama's prime time press conference and 9PM for Black in America 2; Thursday 8PM & 9PM for Black in America 2.
3 CNN 4 night average used at 10PM. Wednesday night excluded for Black in America 2
4 MSNBC 4 night average used at 8PM. Wednesday night excluded for President Obama's prime time press conference
5 MSNBC 3 night average used at 10PM. Wednesday night excluded for Hardball and Friday night for special programming.
^ Courtesy Nielsen Media Research; Demographics where noted; Live + Same Day (LS) Fast Track Nationals.