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Culture

Fox News Earns Top Ratings Spot with Afghanistan Coverage

LOS ANGELES  — Fox News Channel, bolstered by viewers' rapt attention to the U.S.-led evacuation from Afghanistan, was last week's most-watched TV outlet on broadcast or cable, according to Nielsen company figures out Tuesday.

The channel averaged just under 3 million viewers. Fox News Channel outpaced both its cable news competition and the broadcast networks that typically jockey for the top spot.

The channel, which is popular with conservative-leaning viewers, surged following the Taliban's sudden conquest of Afghanistan this month and as the Biden administration directed the chaotic removal of U.S. citizens and Afghans at risk after the nearly 20-year war's end.

The last time the channel claimed the No. 1 spot was in September 2020, when “Fox News Sunday” anchor Chris Wallace moderated the debate between then-President Donald Trump and his ultimately successful challenger Joe Biden.

MSNBC, which tends to attract liberal-leaning viewers, saw a slight ratings dip from the previous week, averaging just under 1.2 million viewers compared to 1.29 million. CNN rose 20.6%, averaging 943,00 viewers vs. the prior week's 782,000.

Fox News Channel, which averaged 2.94 million viewers, was followed by broadcaster CBS with 2.57 million. NBC had 2.53 million, ABC had 2.39 million, Fox had 1.38 million, Univision had 1.28 million, Ion Television had 1.12 million and Telemundo had 1.04 million.

Other top cable performers included HGTV with 1.11 million and TLC with 1.04 million.

ABC’s “World News Tonight” led the evening news ratings race, with an average of 8 million viewers last week. NBC’s “Nightly News” was second with 6.5 million and the “CBS Evening News” had 4.8 million.

For the week of Aug. 16-22, the 20 most-watched programs, their networks and viewerships:

1. “America’s Got Talent” (Tuesday), NBC, 6.9 million.

2. “60 Minutes Presents,” CBS, 5.98 million.

3. “America’s Got Talent” (Wednesday), NBC, 5.74 million.

4. “Hannity” (Tuesday), Fox News Channel, 4.82 million.

5. “Celebrity Family Feud,” ABC, 4.75 million.

6. “America’s Funniest Home Videos,” ABC, 4.3 million.

7. “Big Brother” (Thursday), CBS, 4.05 million.

8. “Tucker Carlson Tonight” (Monday), Fox News Channel, 4.04 million.

9. “Big Brother” (Sunday), CBS, 3.9 million.

10. “The Chase,” ABC, 3.86 million.

11. “Big Brother” (Wednesday), CBS, 3.8 million.

12. “Tucker Carlson Tonight” (Tuesday), Fox News Channel, 3.76 million.

13. “Hannity" (Wednesday), Fox News Channel, 3.74 million.

14. “Tucker Carlson Tonight” (Wednesday), Fox News Channel, 3.63 million.

15. “Hannity” (Monday), Fox News Channel, 3.55 million.

16. “American Ninja Warrior,” NBC, 3.54 million.

17. “The $100,000 Pyramid,” ABC, 3.53 million.

18. “NCIS,” CBS, 3.47 million.

19. “Tucker Carlson Tonight” (Thursday), Fox News Channel, 3.45 million.

20. “Tucker Carlson Tonight” (Friday), Fox News Channel, 3.33 million.

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