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Weekend protest coverage boosts cable news viewership


NEW YORK — For many Americans, the unrest sweeping through several cities this past weekend was reason enough to stay home and watch it on television.

The Nielsen company said 4 million people saw coverage of the demonstrations on Fox News Channel at 10 p.m. on Saturday, not usually a big TV-watching time.

An hour later, 3.2 million people were watching CNN's coverage.

In many cities, mostly peaceful demonstrations about police treatment of minorities became angrier once the sun went down.

On a big news week, Fox News Channel had more than double the audience of its sister broadcast network, which was largely devoted to reruns during the first week of the summer season.

For the week, CBS averaged 3.7 million viewers in prime time. NBC had 3.3 million, ABC had 3.1 million, Fox had 1.41 million, Univision had 1.4 million, ION Television had 1.1 million and Telemundo had 780,000.

Fox News led the cable networks with an average of 3.38 million viewers in prime time last week. CNN had 2.33 million, MSNBC had 2 million, History had 1.44 million and HGTV had 1.28 million.

ABC's “World News Now” led the evening news ratings race with an average of 9.3 million viewers last week. NBC's “Nightly News” had 8.3 million and the “CBS Evening News” had 5.7 million.

For the week of May 25-31, the top 20 shows, their networks and viewerships:

1. “America's Got Talent," NBC, 9.9 million.

2. “60 Minutes,” CBS, 7.68 million.

3. “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire,” ABC, 6.07 million.

4. “NCIS,” CBS, 5.63 million.

5. “Young Sheldon,” CBS, 5.18 million.

6. “Man With a Plan,” CBS, 5.06 million.

7. “World of Dance,” NBC, 5 million.

8. “FBI,” CBS, 4.998 million.

9. “Mom,” CBS, 4.65 million.

10. “Celebrity Family Feud,” ABC, 4.63 million.

11. “Broke,” CBS, 4.45 million.

12. “Game On!,” CBS, 4.44 million.

13. “Hannity” (Friday), Fox News, 4.34 million.

14. “America's Funniest Home Videos,” ABC, 4.26 million.

15. Movie: “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade,” CBS, 4.21 million.

16. “Tucker Carlson Tonight” (Thursday), Fox News, 4.14 million.

17. “Tucker Carlson Tonight” (Friday), Fox News, 4.13 million.

18. “90-Day Fiance: Before 90,” TLC, 4.06 million.

19. “Floyd Protest Coverage” (Saturday, 10 p.m.), Fox News, 4.01 million.

20. “Holey Moley,” ABC, 4 million.

David Bauder, The Associated Press

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