With election interest keen, Fox’s Carlson strong in ratings

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NEW YORK (AP) — Tucker Carlson drew the television equivalent of a royal flush on the week before Labor Day.

The controversial Fox News Channel personality had all five of his weeknight programs land in the Nielsen company’s 20 most popular programs last week. Four of them were in the Top 10.

Fox’s Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham, as well as MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, all had programs in the Top 20 last week, a reflection of interest in the presidential campaign as well as the relative paucity of entertainment options on broadcast television.

Hannity’s program landed in the Top 20 three times, including two nights the host was on vacation.

None of the broadcast networks topped an average of three million viewers in prime time last week.

NBC, with 2.82 million, narrowly edged ABC’s 2.81 million viewers. CBS had 2.6 million, Univision had 1.3 million, ION Television had 1.2 million, Fox had 1.17 million and Telemundo had 1.1 million.

Fox News Channel led the way among cable networks, averaging 3.43 million viewers in prime time last week. MSNBC had 2.11 million, TNT had 1.74 million, ESPN had 1.49 million and TLC had 1.28 million.

ABC’s “World News Tonight” led the evening news ratings race with an average of 8.2 million viewers. NBC’s “Nightly News” had 7.3 million and the “CBS Evening News” had 5.3 million.

For the week of Aug. 31-Sept. 6, the 20 most-watched programs, their networks and viewerships:

1. “60 Minutes,” CBS, 6.45 million.

2. “America’s Got Talent” (Tuesday), NBC, 6.41 million.

3. “America’s Got Talent” (Wednesday), NBC, 5.66 million.

4. NBA Playoffs: Houston vs. L.A. Lakers (Sunday), ABC, 5.43 million.

5. “Tucker Carlson Tonight” (Monday), Fox News, 4.94 million.

6. “Tucker Carlson Tonight” (Tuesday), Fox News, 4.92 million.

7. “Hannity” (Tuesday), Fox News, 4.85 million.

8. “Tucker Carlson Tonight” (Wednesday), Fox News, 4.8 million.

9. “Tucker Carlson Tonight” (Thursday), Fox News, 4.79 million.

10. “Hannity” (Wednesday), Fox News, 4.67 million.

11. “NCIS,” CBS, 4.31 million.

12. NBA Playoffs: Oklahoma City vs. Houston (Wednesday), ESPN, 4.29 million.

13. “Big Brother” (Thursday), CBS, 4.24 million.

14. “Hannity” (Thursday), Fox News, 4.17 million.

15. “Big Brother (Wednesday), CBS, 4.162 million.

16. “The Ingraham Angle” (Monday), Fox News, 4.16 million.

17. “Transplant,” NBC, 3.96 million.

18. “The Rachel Maddow Show” (Tuesday), MSNBC, 3.873 million.

19. “Tucker Carlson Tonight” (Friday), Fox News, 3.832 million.

20. “The Ingraham Angle” (Tuesday), Fox News, 3.828 million.

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