Welcome to this week's edition of the wacky world of ratings. Tuesday night's coverage following Michael Jackson's memorial service had a major impact on the averages for the week. Let's start with the 8PM time slot. On the surface the average adults 25 - 54 demographic ratings put FOX at number 1, CNN at number 2 (yes, that is CNN), MSNBC in third place and HLN trailing behind in fourth. If you look at the night to night rankings, FOX took first place four nights out of five. CNN came in first place on Tuesday night and had two third place finishes and two fourth place finishes. MSNBC took second place twice, third place once and fourth place twice. HLN took second place twice, third place twice, and fourth place once.
The averages are a bit more clear cut at 9PM. FOX came in first place for the week after taking the top spot four nights out five. CNN came in second place after coming in first place one night (Tuesday) and second place the other four nights. MSNBC was a consistent third place and HLN was a consistent fourth place.
The 10PM hour defies all logic when you look at the individual nights (but the math works in CNN's favor.) CNN takes the top spot when comparing the averages after having the highest demographic rating on Tuesday night and coming in second the other four nights. FOX comes in second for the week after coming in first four nights out of five and second one night. HLN comes in third place after coming in third three nights out of five. MSNBC comes in fourth place after coming in fourth three nights out of five.
^ Courtesy Nielsen Media Research; Demographics where noted; Live + Same Day (LS) Fast Track Nationals.
The ratings over the past two weeks have left lots of room for the networks to spin the results in their own favor. The Wrap recently posted an article titled Fox News Keeps Fending Off Rivals and they spoke with Miles O'Brien for his take on his former employer's ratings wins and woes. (Thanks to Julie for finding this for us.)