Alex Wagner Draws Solid 2 Million Viewers To Debut Of MSNBC Primetime Show; ‘Hannity’ Tops Timeslot

Alex Wagner’s debut as MSNBC’s Tuesday to Friday successor to Rachel Maddow drew an estimated 2 million viewers.

That was a solid number for the network, and its most watched show on Tuesday. It topped CNN Tonight, which had 866,000.

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Fox News’ Hannity still handily won the timeslot with 3.1 million, a figure that was more than its two cable news rivals combined.

Wagner’s debut audience was a 27% dropoff from the 2.75 million for The Rachel Maddow Show on Monday. But that is not as big of an audience decline from MSNBC’s previous Tuesday to Friday occupant, MSNBC Prime, which featured a rotating series of hosts. Maddow has been MSNBC’s top rated show, and is the only non-Fox News show to have made it to the top five cable news shows last month.

Maddow announced in the spring that she was cutting back her schedule to one night a week, after signing a new contract with NBCUniversal last year.

In the 25-54 demo, Hannity topped with 404,000 viewers, compared to 183,000 for Alex Wagner and 176,000 for CNN Tonight. CNN has yet to name a permanent host for the 9 PM ET hour after Chris Cuomo was fired in December, and has filled the slot with a rotating series of network figures.

The figures are from Nielsen.

Wagner’s first show featured guests Mark Leibovich, Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) and Joyce Vance, and also featured updates on returns from the Wyoming primary in which Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) lost her bid for reelection. Steve Kornacki provided analysis.

In July, The Rachel Maddow Show averaged 2.39 million viewers, enough to break into the top five shows in the hour, while the rest of the week, called MSNBC Prime, averaged 1.42 million. In the 25-54 demo, Rachel Maddow averaged 230,000 while MSNBC Prime posted 134,000. Leading the hour, as it has been for some time, was Fox News’ Hannity, which averaged 2.53 million total viewers and 343,000 in the 25-54 demo.

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