Rebecca Takes on the Cable News, Week of December 4: The Ingraham Angle Makes Much-Needed Gains

It's time for another edition of Rebecca Takes on the Cable News, and there's a lot to report this week as the crazy world of cable news stayed crazy, with many shows posting huge gains or huge losses. Major stories for cable news this week included the ongoing (and seemingly, never-ending) Senate election in Alabama, the calls for, and later, the resignation of Minnesota Senator Al Franken, and the continued sexual assault allegations against seemingly every celebrity ever. How did this all shake out for the networks? Keep on reading and you'll find out!

With two noticeable exceptions, MSNBC had a rough week. Most of their shows were down by noticeable amounts, with Velshi & Ruhle taking a noticeable 11% tumble. It had a sub-0.1 average, by far the lowest of the shows focused on here. Morning Joe and Deadline: White House took #15 and #16 on the chart, both having 0.144 averages. Morning Joe was up from last week, though it still fell down the chart. It's near the bottom of the chart no matter how you shake it, but it still fared better than most, partly due to underperformance during last week's positive ratings period. Deadline: White House took a mighty 8% tumble, putting it at the bottom after a middle of the pack performance last week. In primetime, The Rachel Meadow Show had a great week, though a weak Friday brought it down to Earth a bit. It remained comfortably in first, despite other shows posting higher gains than it. The rest of primetime didn't do nearly as well. The Last Word had a sluggish start to the week and managed to rally for a 5% decline (it started the week down 12%). It's not great, and fellow 10 PM series The Ingraham Angle really gave it a run for its money, but O'Donnell held off the competition for the week. 8 PM series All In was down a steeper 9%, though it managed to hold onto the #7 position on the chart. "All in" all, MSNBC's week wasn't a great one, but it probably could have been worse for them. They narrowly lost their #1 in primetime status this time, but that was mostly due to a far lower 8 PM than first-place Fox News.

CNN's week was the definition of a mixed bag. On the plus side, two of their shows mage huge gains and managed to work their way into the middle of the chart. On the downside, their evening and primetime shows slid by noticeable amounts. More noticeable than all was The Lead with Jake Tapper, down 14%. The show crashed in the ratings, but it only slipped one place in the rankings, slipping outside of the Top 10 to #11. Fellow CNN series Erin Burnett OutFront didn't manage much better with a rough 13% decline. Primetime series Anderson Cooper 360 took the CNN crown this week from CNN Tonight, with a slight victory. That victory is due to AC 360 holding up better, down 6% compared to CNN Tonight's 10%. Neither looks great, but AC 360 looks better when looking at the trends of fellow CNN shows. Wolf managed to make huge gains, up 15% to a rounded 0.16. It's one of the network's lowest-rated shows we focus on here, but it really narrowed the gap between it and The Lead this week. At This Hour also made strong gains, up 9% to 0.15. Both remain anemic, but the week certainly was kind to them.

Fox News:
By far this week's big winner, Fox News managed to be #1 in both 18-49 and viewers during primetime. While they only won in one of the three primetime slots on average, it was certainly a decisive victory, with Tucker Carlson Tonight up 7% from last week with a 0.31 average. It's still well behind Rachel Meadow, but it's still solidly in #2. Hannity also made strong gains, up 8% after a weak performance last week. It's still not doing as well as it did in the past, but it's still on of cable news's highest-rated shows. The Ingraham Angle posted the week's second-most impressive gain on cable news, up 12% from last week. The show was really struggling last week, so this is a positive development for the series. It leaped from 9th place to 5th overall, something Fox News is likely content with. It's still well behind its fellow Fox News primetime shows, but it closed the gap a little this week. Elsewhere, Fox & Friends lost a bit of steam with a 2% decline, but it still managed to work its way into the Top 10. The news wasn't all good, as Shepard Smith Reporting, which remained in dead last among Fox News programs, declined 4% and fell to 14th. So while FNC had a strong week, it wasn't perfect.

And now it's time for Winners & Losers...

Winner of the Week: The Ingraham Angle
Had the "Winners & Losers" segment existed last week, The Ingraham Angle probably would have been named the week's loser. However, it made impressive gains this week and made stronger gains than lead-in Hannity. It also came close to winning its timeslot after being trounced by The Last Word last week. Last week's performance was nothing to write home about, but it gets bragging rights this week.

Loser of the Week: Velshi & Ruhle
Last week saw a decent performance from Velshi & Ruhle. The same really can't be said this week, with the show pulling numbers well below anything else. Its 0.07 from Wednesday was terrible, and though other shows were down more, Velshi & Ruhle is the clear loser this week.

Below is the Rebecca Takes on the News table for the period from December 4 to December 8, 2017.
And below is each cable network's averages during the 8-11 PM hours from December 4 to December 8, 2017.
What did you think of this week's cable news developments? Who are your winners and losers this week? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

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