The president’s “Battle for the Soul of the Nation” speech helped CNN and MSNBC in the battle for cable ratings earlier this month.

President Biden’s speech on Thursday, September 1 from Independence Hall in Philadelphia was an attempt to buck a historic trend. Since the end of World War II, midterm elections have not favored a sitting president and his political party. Only twice before has the president’s party retained a majority in the Congressional House of Representatives. Both of those moments happened under extraordinary circumstances — the Democrats in 1998 with Bill Clinton in office, in a year when Republicans impeached him for his affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky; and, Republicans in 2002 under President George W. Bush, a year after the September 11 attacks.

Of course, our current political environment can also be described as extraordinary. Biden’s presidency follows Donald Trump’s four tumultuous and chaotic years, which included the overhaul of the Supreme Court that led to the overturning of the nearly five-decade-long Roe v. Americans who succumbed to COVID-19 and the insurgency on Capitol Hill that attempted to decertify the results of the 2020 presidential election.

Biden’s case to Americans that night was to make it clear that Trump and his “MAGA Republicans” are trying to subvert democracy with “extreme ideology.” Ideally, Biden and his administration hoped to reach a significant portion of the prime-time television audience that Sept. 1 evening. The event certainly boosted MSNBC and CNN outlets. The 8 p.m. hour usually aired”All In with Chris Hayes” and “Anderson Cooper 360on their respective networks drew above-average audiences for the timeslot: MSNBC’s 2.38 million viewers, including 259,000 in the key 25-54 demographic (according to Nielsen Media Research); 1.55 million viewers and 302,000 adults aged 25-54 on CNN.

But, 3.93 million viewers combined for the 8-9 p.m. hour via linear platforms was all Biden’s speech had achieved. Like last summer’s two primetime hearings investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection, Fox News Channel opted to stick with its usual primetime lineup that night. FNC remained the most-watched single cable medium overnight. “Tucker Carlson tonight(2.89 million viewers; 428,000 adults 25-54) topped the 8 p.m. hour on cable.

The broadcast networks also opted for regular programming. Except for NBC, every network edged out MSNBC, the main outlet for coverage of Biden’s speech — the 8-8:30 p.m. portion of ABC’s game show.Tap your luck(3.31 million), a rerun of the CBS comedy »Young Sheldon(3.21 million), and the first half hour of the Fox Broadcast Network’s Penn State-Purdue college football season opener (2.92 million),

From 8 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., a rebroadcast of “Law and order” on NBC drew 2.01 million viewers.

Cable News Averages for August 29-September 4, 2022:

Total day (Aug 29-Sep 4 @ 6am-5:59am)

  • Fox News Channel: 1.424 million viewers; 206,000 adults aged 25 to 54
  • MSNBC: 0.838 million viewers; 89,000 adults aged 25 to 54
  • CNN: 0.529 million viewers; 99,000 adults aged 25 to 54
  • HLN: 0.160 million viewers; 46,000 adults aged 25 to 54
  • newsmax: 0.130 million viewers; 15,000 adults aged 25 to 54
  • CNBC: 0.129 million viewers; 33,000 adults aged 25 to 54
  • The weather channel: 0.109 million viewers; 23,000 adults aged 25 to 54
  • Fox Business Network: 0.101 million viewers; 12,000 adults aged 25 to 54

Prime time (Aug 29-Sept 3, 8-11 p.m.; Sept. 4, 7-11 p.m.)

  • Fox News Channel: 2.140 million viewers; 286,000 adults aged 25 to 54
  • MSNBC: 1.403 million viewers; 136,000 adults aged 25 to 54
  • CNN: 0.653 million viewers; 138,000 adults aged 25 to 54
  • newsmax: 0.229 million viewers; 23,000 adults aged 25 to 54
  • CNBC: 0.190 million viewers; 61,000 adults aged 25 to 54
  • HLN: 0.179 million viewers; 49,000 adults aged 25 to 54
  • The weather channel: 0.146 million viewers; 25,000 adults aged 25 to 54
  • Fox Business Network: 0.055 million viewers; 5,000 adults aged 25 to 54
  • NewsNation: 0.053 million viewers; 8,000 adults aged 25 to 54

Top 10 most watched TV news (and top programs from other outlets with their respective associated ranks) in the total number of viewers:

1. The Five (FOXNC, Tue 8/30/2022 5:00 PM, 60 mins) 3.503 million viewers

2. The Five (FOXNC, Mon 8/29/2022 5:00 PM, 60 mins.) 3.488 million viewers

3. The Five (FOXNC, Wed 2022-08-31 17:00, 60 mins.) 3.404 million viewers

4. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Mon. 8/29/2022 8:00 p.m., 60 min.) 3.389 million viewers

5. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Tue. 8/30/2022 8:00 p.m., 60 min.) 3.285 million viewers

6. The Five (FOXNC, Fri 9/2/2022 5:00 PM, 60 mins.) 3.166 million viewers

7. The Five (FOXNC, Thu 9/1/2022 5:00 PM, 60 mins.) 3.104 million viewers

8. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Wed. 8/31/2022 8:00 p.m., 60 min.) 2.984 million viewers

9. Hannity (FOXNC, Mon 8/29/2022 9:00 PM, 60 mins.) 2.898 million viewers

10. Hannity (FOXNC, Thu 9/1/2022 9:00 PM, 60 mins.) 2.894 million viewers

15. Rachel Maddow Show (MSNBC, Mon. 8/29/2022 9:00 p.m., 60 min.) 2.615 million viewers

86. Anderson Cooper 360 (CNN, Thu. 9/1/2022 7:50 p.m., 70 min.) 1.547 million viewers

418. “Wheel Of Misfortune” Forensic Records (HLN, Fri 2/9/2022 12:00 a.m., 30 min.) 0.311 million viewers

427. Varney & Company (FBN, Tue. 8/30/2022 11:00 a.m., 60 min.) 0.291 million viewers

460. Fast Money Halftime Report (CNBC, Fri 2/9/2022 12:00 p.m., 60 min.) 0.255 million viewers

525. Heavy Rescue: 401 “(603) A Real Logjam” (TWC, Sun 9/4/2022 7:00 p.m., 60 min.) 0.215 million viewers

816. Newsnation: Rush Hour (NWSN, Mon. 8/29/2022 5:00 p.m., 60 mins.) 0.119 million viewers

Top 10 cable news programs (and top programs from other outlets with their respective associated ranks) in adults aged 25 to 54

1. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Mon, 8/29/2022 8:00 p.m., 60 min.) 0.482 million adults 25-54

2. The Five (FOXNC, Tue, 8/30/2022 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.457 million adults 25-54

3. The Five (FOXNC, Mon 8/29/2022 5:00 PM, 60 mins) 0.451 million adults 25-54

4. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Wed 8/31/2022 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.433 million adults 25-54

5. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Thu 9/1/2022 8:00 p.m., 60 min.) 0.428 million adults 25-54

6. The Five (FOXNC, Wed 2022-08-31 5:00 PM, 60 mins.) 0.424 million adults 25-54

7. Hannity (FOXNC, Thu 9/1/2022 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.423 million adults 25-54

8. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Tue. 8/30/2022 8:00 p.m., 60 min.) 0.422 million adults 25-54

9. The Five (FOXNC, Fri 2/9/2022 5:00 PM, 60 mins.) 0.406 million adults 25-54

10. Gutfeld! (FOXNC, Thu 9/1/2022 11:00 PM, 60 mins.) 0.397 million adults 25-54

28. Anderson Cooper 360 (CNN, Thu. 9/1/2022 7:50 p.m., 70 min.) 0.302 million adults 25-54

35. Rachel Maddow Show (MSNBC, Monday, 8/29/2022 9:00 p.m., 60 min.) 0.279 million adults 25-54

284. “Dark Waters” Forensic Records (HLN, Sun 04/09/2022 02:00, 30 min.) 0.095 million adults 25-54

328. The News with Shepard Smith (CNBC, Mon. 8/29/2022 12:00 a.m., 60 min.) 0.081 million adults 25-54

486. Storm Center (TWC, Mon 8/29/2022 7:00 PM, 60 mins) 0.054 million adults 25-54

670. Mornings with Maria Bartiromo (NBF, Thu 01/09/2022 08:00, 60 min.) 0.035 million adults 25-54

815. Morning In America (NWSN, Thu 09/01/2022 07:00, 180 min) 0.024 million adults 25-54