This police show is beating out your favorite political pundits’ ratings

FLINT, MI - MARCH 06: Debate moderator Anderson Cooper looks during the CNN Democratic Presidential Primary Debate between Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and candidate Senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT) at the Whiting Auditorium at the Cultural Center Campus on March 6, 2016 in Flint, Michigan. Voters in Michigan will go to the polls March 8 for the state's primary. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images); NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 29: Tucker Carlson, host of 'Tucker Carlson Tonight' speaks onstage with Nicholas Carlson at IGNITION: Future of Media at Time Warner Center on November 29, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Roy Rochlin/Getty Images); NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 30: Host of “The Rachel Maddow Show” MSNBC Rachel Maddow speaks onstage at the Road to the 2016 Election: A Campaign Preview panel presented by NBCUniversal during Advertising Week 2015 AWXII at the Times Center Stage on September 30, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by D Dipasupil/Getty Images for AWXII)

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Ratings have always been a point of pride for networks and pundits. In a year where several have become obsessed with wielding network ratings, the political world might be interested to learn that the show dominating prime time doesn’t belong to CNN, Fox News, or NBC.

It’s not even political.

Political rhetoric has tended to conflate ratings with honesty. President Trump kicked off his first term as president by arguing with CNN over Twitter about inauguration ratings.

In June, Fox News’ Sean Hannity accused MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough of being “low rated” on live television while calling him a liar. He used a similar insult on Twitter.

When the controversial Roger Ailes, former CEO of Fox News, was being eulogized by Scarborough and MSNBC’s Chris Matthews shortly after his death, the men mentioned that his former network had dropped in ratings.

“Fox News is an absolute mess, Roger Ailes gone for maybe six months and for the first time, this century they aren’t in first place — for the first time this century, they are in third place,” Scarborough said. Matthews added, “Rachel [Maddow] beats them every night.”

Mediaite reported that A&E’s “Live PD” is dominating ratings in a tough prime time slot, which, according to the publication, is nine to midnight on Friday and Saturday nights. They explain:

Yet there is one live cable show that bests all of the cable news shows in the key 25-54 and 18-49 demos — in fact, it’s not even close. This program airs live for six hours per week instead of the five for most prime time cable news programs (Don Lemon on CNN is an exception). And it airs in what is typically considered the most challenging prime time slot; nine to midnight on Friday and Saturday nights.

“Live PD” on A&E network follows police officers around the country in real time, and in November and December averaged a whopping 957,000 in the key demo (which is consistent with the show ‘s previous ratings).

Mediaite notes that while “Live PD” does not analyze politics and world events, it is a live program shot in a studio that features hosts, analysis and even veteran producers.

And this is how the show compares to a few political media giants:

Rachel Maddow, the highest rated news show in the critical 25-54 demo on cable averaged 652,000 for the same time period according to Nielsen.
Sean Hannity did 631,000.
Tucker [Carlson] averaged 586,000.
Furthermore, Live PD more than doubled Chris Hayes (424k) and also Anderson Cooper (432k). The disparity is even greater with all of them in the 18-49 demo.

And, most notably, the show has garnered its ratings without constant mention of the president — though Mediaite has pointed out that his name often comes up in DWI assessments.

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