November 26th, 2019

CNN Has Third Best November in 11 Years in Total Viewers

CNN Beats MSNBC Throughout Dayside; Outperforms MSNBC on Weekends;

Bests MSNBC on Sunday Mornings in Demo 25-54

All CNN Prime Time Programs Post Third-Best November Ratings in Over 10 Years  

CNN Ranks as a Top 5 Network in All of Cable for 2nd Consecutive Month


With the Nielsen month ending on Sunday, November 24th, CNN topped MSNBC throughout dayside, weekends and on Sunday mornings in the key demo adults 25-54.  CNN posted its third most-watched November in total day (762k) in 11 years (since 2008) among total viewers, just following the presidential election year of 2016 and the midterm election year of 2018.  In prime time (8-11pm), this is the network’s third highest November since 2012.

During dayside (9am-4pm), CNN beat MSNBC for the 69th straight month in the coveted demographic adults 25-54 (225k vs. MSNBC’s 197k), the longest streak on record. Every CNN dayside hour also surpassed MSNBC this month, posting higher demo 25-54 audiences including the following programs:  CNN Newsroom with Poppy Harlow and Jim Sciutto (9 and 10am), At This Hour with Kate Bolduan (11am), Inside Politics with John King (weekday noon), CNN Right Now with Brianna Keilar (1pm) and CNN Newsroom with Brooke Baldwin (2 and 3pm).  The network also grew +19% during the dayside daypart among total viewers compared to last year.  This is CNN’s third highest November during the daytime hours in 19 years (since 2000), just following 2001 and 2016.

On weekends, CNN outperformed MSNBC in total day and prime time among adults 25-54 in November.  In weekend total day, CNN averaged 122k vs. MSNBC’s 90k and during weekend prime time, CNN posted 138k vs. MSNBC’s 93k among 25-54. CNN ranked #1 in cable news on Saturdays, topping MSNBC and Fox every hour from 1pm to 7pm, besting MSNBC for 21 out of 24 hours. On Sundays, CNN was top-rated every hour from 3-5pm, and at 6pm and 7pm among adults 25-54.  CNN Original Series This is Life with Lisa Ling (10pm) and Declassified (11pm) also ranked #1 in the demo in their respective time periods on Sundays this month.  CNN beat MSNBC for 23 out of 24 hours on Sundays among 25-54 in November.

Among ALL cable networks, CNN ranked #5 in total viewers in total day in November. This marks the second consecutive month that CNN is a Top 5 cable network and the 22nd straight month that CNN is a Top 10 cable network in total day. During weekday prime time, CNN ranked #5 in total viewers and #8 during M-Su primetime.  CNN also had the youngest audience in cable news in total day and prime time and reached the largest cumulative TV audience (among both total viewers and adults 25-54) this month.


Of note:  MSNBC aired the fifth Democratic Presidential Candidates debate, elevating their ratings data for both total day and prime time in November. This month also included impeachment hearing coverage for all cable news networks.)


November News Programming Highlights:

  • The Lead with Jake Tapper (4pm) averaged 1.130 million total viewers this month, the program’s second-highest November ratings on record (behind only the presidential election year of  2016).
  • The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer: During the 5pm time period this month, CNN averaged 273k and at 6pm, attracted 286k in the key demo adults 25-54.  MSNBC averaged 240k at 5pm and 284k at 6pm.  CNN has now topped MSNBC for the 18th consecutive month at 5pm.
  • Erin Burnett Outfront: During the 7pm time period, CNN surpassed MSNBC this month ranking #2 in cable news among adults 25-54 (302k vs. 287k).  CNN has now outperformed MSNBC for the fourth consecutive month at 7p and for 16 of the past 18 months. This is the Burnett-led program’s second highest November ratings on record among total viewers (1.142 million, behind 2016).
  • Anderson Cooper 360 (8pm) delivered CNN’s highest viewership among adults 25-54 (304k) and also had its third-highest November on record in total viewers (1.220 million), just behind the presidential election year of 2016 and the midterm election year in 2018.
  • Cuomo Prime Time (9pm) delivered CNN’s highest viewership among total viewers (1.249 million) in November. Cuomo Prime Time had the network’s third-highest November 9pm time period viewership since 2008 in total viewers (following 2016 and 2018).
  • CNN Tonight with Don Lemon (10pm) averaged 1.023 million total viewers this month, the program’s third-highest November on record (behind 2016 and 2018).
  • Early Start with Christine Romans and Dave Briggs (4-6am) topped MSNBC in the demo adults 25-54 (87k vs 82k).


On Saturday mornings (6-9am), New Day with Victor Blackwell and Christi Paul ranked #2 in cable news each hour, easily topping MSNBC in the key demo 25-54.  At 9am, Smerconish (9am) outperformed MSNBC (163k vs. 121k) in November among adults 25-54.  CNN Newsroom with Fredricka Whitfield ranked #1 in cable news from 1-3pm in the key demo adults 25-54, as was CNN Newsroom with Ana Cabrera (3-6pm) and S.E Cupp Unfiltered (6pm). The Axe Files with David Axelrod and The Van Jones Show (7pm) each ranked #2 in their time period, ahead of MSNBC on Saturdays in the key demo.

All CNN Sunday morning programs including Inside Politics with John King (8am), State of the Union with Jake Tapper (9am and noon), Fareed Zakaria: GPS (10am and 1pm), and Reliable Sources with Brian Stelter (11am) surpassed MSNBC in their respective time periods among adults 25-54.  Inside Politics and SOTU (9am and noon) topped MSNBC in total viewers as well.  Fareed Zakaria: GPS at 1pm also topped MSNBC in total viewers (618k vs. 545k) and grew +8% vs. a year ago. New Day Sunday (6-8am) topped MSNBC in both total viewers and the demo, and CNN Newsroom with Ana Cabrera was top rated from 3-5pm and from 6-8pm among adults 25-54.


CNN Original Series Programming:

  • This is Life with Lisa Ling Season 6 (9/29-11/17/19, Sundays at10pm) delivered 738k among total viewers, 218k in adults 25-54 and 53k in younger viewers (18-34) this season.  This is Life ranked #1 in cable news topping both Fox and MSNBC in adults 25-54 and 18-34, and #2 in total viewers topping MSNBC.   The Ling-led series outperformed MSNBC by triple digits in the key demo, up +126% and +239% among 18-34.  Compared to the prior four Sunday time period average, This is Life posted the largest growth in cable news among total viewers (+71%).
  • Declassified Season 3 (9/29-11/17/19, Sundays at 9pm/11pm) averaged 523k in total viewers, 139k among adults 25-54 and 29k in younger viewers this season.  In its time period across cable news, the program ranked #2 in cable news, besting MSNBC by +47% in the key demo adults 25-54.
  • So far in 2019, CNN claimed 4 of the Top 10 non-fiction historical series in ALL of cable among adults 25-54, more than any other non-fiction network including the History Channel.
  • CNN Films Presents: Nixon By Nixon: In His Own Words (11/16/19, Sat 9p-10:30p) delivered 155k among adults 25-54 and 708k in total viewers, outperforming MSNBC by double digits among adults 25-54.


Out of Home Lift:  Quarter-to-date in total day, CNN is pacing at its highest quarterly net lift on record (+21k) and its 2nd highest % lift on record with +11% (behind only 3Q19: +11.5%).

Cable News TV Reach:  CNN continues to reach the largest cumulative TV audience (among both total viewers and adults 25-54) of any cable news network 2019-to-date making this the 18th consecutive year on record for the network.

Median Age: In November, CNN attracted an audience that is three years younger than Fox News and four years younger than  MSNBC in both total day. In prime time (M-Su/M-F) CNN is three years younger than both Fox and MSNBC. MSNBC is tracking at its oldest yearly median age on record in total day.

Multiplatform Reach:  2019-to-date, CNN reaches more people than any other cable news brand across TV and digital and reaches more people ages 25-54 than any other news brand across TV and digital.

Digital to TV Lift:  CNN Digital viewing added a +3.4% lift to CNN’s P2+ Average TV audience in November 2019, the network’s highest month ever on record (beginning in January 2018).