Fox News led all of its cable news competitors in the ratings Monday night as Tucker Carlson debuted to strong viewership numbers in his first night in the 8 p.m. time slot formerly commanded by ousted anchor Bill O’Reilly.
Monday night’s episode of Tucker Carlson Tonight drew an average of 3.2 million viewers and 636,000 viewers in the 25-54 demo, beating all other cable news programs in the 8 p.m. hour in both total viewers and the key demo, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
In demo viewership for the night, Fox News averaged 582,000 viewers while MSNBC drew 424,000 and CNN got 328,000. In total viewership, Fox drew an average of 2.8 million viewers, while MSNBC lagged far behind with 1.8 million and CNN failed to reach the million-viewer mark, according to the Wrap.
Carlson’s numbers stack up favorably with O’Reilly’s final Monday broadcast last week, when the one-time ratings king drew 3.7 million viewers and 635,000 viewers in the key demo.
O’Reilly departed Fox News last week after an investigation into numerous allegations of sexual harassment against the anchor.
Carlson kicked off his Monday night broadcast — which featured interviews with Caitlyn Jenner and former Dirty Jobs host Mike Rowe — with a message addressing O’Reilly’s departure.
“For those of you tuning in expecting to see someone different in this anchor chair, I know the feeling well. I watched Bill O’Reilly at this hour for years and I always marveled at how well prepared he was, how tough he was and how crisply and directly he expressed his views,” Carlson said at the top go the hour. “He set a high bar and I’m gonna do my best to meet it. Thanks for sticking with us.”
Fox News’ domination in the ratings Monday night extended to its 9 p.m. hour, where the panel show The Five (taking over Carlson’s old time slot) beat all competitors, including MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show. Fox’s Sean Hannity also won both total viewers and the key demo during the night’s 10 p.m. hour.
Carlson joined Fox News earlier this year to replace departing anchor Megyn Kelly, who is expected to begin a new Sunday newsmagazine show at NBC in June.
Follow Daniel Nussbaum on Twitter: @dznussbaum