Ratings show Fox News viewers tuning out Jan. 6 hearings

Fox News Channel is airing the Jan. 6 committee hearings when they occur during daytime hours, and ratings show that a striking number of their viewers are tuning it out

Fox News Channel is airing the Jan. 6 committee hearings when they occur in daytime hours and a striking number of the network's viewers have made clear they'd rather be doing something else.

During two daytime hearings last week, Fox averaged 727,000 viewers, the Nielsen company said. That compares to the 3.09 million who watched the hearings on MSNBC and the 2.21 million tuned in to CNN.

It completely flips the typical viewing pattern for the news networks. During weekdays when the hearings are not taking place, Fox News Channel routinely has more viewers than the other two networks combined, Nielsen said.

Last Thursday, Fox had 1.33 million viewers for the 2 p.m. Eastern hour before the hearing started — slightly below its second quarter average but on par for early summer, when fewer people are watching TV.

After the hearing started, Fox's audience's sank to 747,000 for the 3 p.m. Eastern hour and even lower, to 718,000, at 4 p.m. Fox cut away from the hearing at 5 p.m. to show its popular panel program, “The Five,” and fans immediately rewarded them: viewership shot up to 2.76 million people, Nielsen said.

The apparent lack of interest explains why the frequently Trump-friendly network stuck with its regular lineup during the committee's only prime-time hearing, while ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN and MSNBC all showed the Washington proceedings. “The Five” has also been cable television's most-watched show, on average, for nine months.

ABC won the week in prime time, averaging 3.6 million viewers. CBS had 3 million, NBC had 2.5 million, Fox had 1.6 million, Univision had 1.1 million, Ion Television had 1.04 million and Telemundo had 990,000 viewers.

Fox News Channel led cable networks with an average viewership of 2.17 million in prime time. MSNBC had 1.41 million, ESPN had 1.21 million, HGTV had 938,000 and Hallmark had 777,000.

ABC's “World News Tonight” won the evening news ratings race with an average of 6.6 million viewers. NBC's “Nightly News” had 6.1 million and the “CBS Evening News” had 4.5 million.

For the week of June 20-26, the 20 most-watched program in prime time, their networks and viewerships:

1. “60 Minutes,” CBS, 6.13 million.

2. “America's Got Talent,” NBC, 6 million.

3. Stanley Cup Finals, Game 6: Colorado at Tampa Bay, ABC, 5.82 million.

4. Stanley Cup Finals, Game 5: Tampa Bay at Colorado, ABC, 5.15 million.

5. “60 Minutes” (Sunday, 8 p.m.), CBS, 4.8 million.

6. Stanley Cup Finals, Game 4: Colorado at Tampa Bay, ABC, 4.6 million.

7. Stanley Cup Finals, Game 3: Colorado at Tampa Bay, ABC, 4.1 million.

8. “FBI,” CBS, 3.82 million.

9. “The Price is Right” (Wednesday, 8 p.m.), CBS, 3.74 million.

10. “Stanley Cup Pregame” (Monday), ABC, 3.7 million.

11. “Stanley Cup Presentation," ABC, 3.69 million.

12. “NCIS,” CBS, 3.58 million.

13. “The Neighborhood,” CBS, 3.57 million.

14. “Young Sheldon,” CBS, 3.49 million.

15. “The Price is Right” (Wednesday, 9 p.m.), CBS, 3.47 million.

16. “Stanley Cup Pregame” (Friday), ABC, 3.27 million.

17. “Stanley Cup Pregame” (Wednesday), ABC, 3.262 million.

18. “Tucker Carlson Tonight” (Friday), Fox News, 3.255 million.

19. “Stanley Cup Pregame” (Sunday), ABC, 3.23 million.

20. “Tucker Carlson Tonight” (Thursday), Fox News, 3.19 million.

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