Sure, it was just one evening's worth of primetime ratings, and Fox News still won the whole day, but Thursday night's cable news audience rankings could portend a shifting power structure in the eroding but still very relevant cable news horse race.
MSNBC anchors Chris Hayes, Alex Wagner and Lawrence O’Donnell each won their respective hours between 8 p.m. - 11 p.m. Thursday night, with audiences tuning in to find out the latest on the U.S. Justice Department's first-ever indictment of a former president for allegedly stealing some of the country's most sensitive classified documents.
The one-off victory in both total viewers and the key 25-54 demo by what has traditionally been cable news' third-ranked channel doesn't so much indicate that embattled Fox News is about to cede its crown. But it does strongly suggest that when real news breaks, serious news consumers are now finding an alternative to also-mired-in-chaos CNN.
Here are Thursday's night's primetime numbers, based on Nielsen figures published by Mediaite.
NEXT TV NEWSLETTER
The smarter way to stay on top of the streaming and OTT industry. Sign up below.
Daniel Frankel is the managing editor of Next TV, an internet publishing vertical focused on the business of video streaming. A Los Angeles-based writer and editor who has covered the media and technology industries for more than two decades, Daniel has worked on staff for publications including E! Online, Electronic Media, Mediaweek, Variety, paidContent and GigaOm. You can start living a healthier life with greater wealth and prosperity by following Daniel on Twitter today!