Rachel Maddow’s Donald Trump Tax Return Episode Dominated Cable News Ratings

March 16, 2017, 10:34 PM UTC
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon - Season 4
MSNBC television host Rachel Maddow on the Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on March 15, 2017.
Andrew Lipovsky—NBC/NBCU Photo Bank/Getty Images

Rachel Maddow’s plan to tease the reveal of President Donald Trump’s tax returns looks like it paid off in terms of viewership.

Her eponymous MSNBC show was the No. 1 cable news program on Tuesday, Poynter reports.

The Rachel Maddow Show drew 4.13 million total viewers, according to Nielsen data. This put Maddow ahead of CNN’s The Messy Truth With Van Jones and Fox News’ Tucker Carlson Tonight, which both compete with her in the 9 p.m. slot.

Hours before the broadcast, Maddow teased it with a tweet saying she would reveal the tax return. Other journalists and viewers mocked her for not releasing the information right away and for over-selling the information she had, particularly after the White House spoiled her reveal by releasing similar information about the president’s 2005 tax returns before Maddow went on air.

Still, the numbers for Tuesday’s show were much higher than Maddow’s recent ratings. Her show drew 2.5 million total viewers last week, according to Poynter.

“This is the highest-rated program ever for ‘The Rachel Maddow Show’ in both total viewer and (between the ages of 24 and 54) demos,” a MSNBC spokesperson told Poynter. “It is also the network’s second-highest rated regularly scheduled show ever in total viewers.”

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