It’s good to have the moderator. NBC handily beat the rest of the Big 4 broadcast competition on debate night, when its Lester Holt presided over the 90-minute Donald Trump-Hillary Clinton argument.
ABC was better than CBS from 9 o’clock to 10:30 p.m. ET — the actual debate time slot — though “The Big Bang Theory” at 8 helped the latter top the former in the overall primetime key demo average, which counts 8-11 o’clock and audience members 18-49-years-old.
The Disney-owned network still took silver in total viewers across the three hours, however. All debate numbers should be considered preliminary and (very) subject to change at this point.
For all of primetime, NBC was first in ratings with a 4.4 rating/12 share in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demographic and in total viewers with an average of 14.4 million, according to preliminary numbers. “The Voice” at 8 p.m. ET earned a 3.3/10 and 12.1 million viewers. The two-hour debate coverage from 9 to 11 scored an average 5.0/13 and 15.6 million viewers.
CBS was second in ratings with a 2.8/8 and third in viewers with 11 million. “The Big Bang Theory” at 8 p.m. ET landed a 3.5/12 and 14.1 million viewers. At 8:30, “Kevin Can Wait” posted a 2.7/8 and 10.9 million viewers. Debate coverage for the next 120 minutes averaged a 2.6/7 and 10.2 million viewers.
ABC was third in ratings with a 2.5/7 and second in viewers with 11.3 million. “Dancing With the Stars” at 8 p.m. ET twirled to a 1.8/6 and 10.7 million viewers. Debate coverage averaged a 2.9/8 and 11.6 million viewers, from 9 to 11.
Fox was fourth in ratings with a 1.5/4 and in viewers with 4.6 million. “Gotham” at 8 p.m. ET received a 1.2/4 and 3.7 million viewers. The debate stuff nabbed a 1.7/5 and 5 million viewers. Fox ordinarily cuts its national primetime off at 10; last night, it went to 11.
Univision was fifth in ratings with a 0.8/2 and in viewers with 2.1 million.
Telemundo was sixth in ratings with a 0.6/2 and in viewers with 1.7 million. Both Spanish-language nets simulcast the debate.
The CW was seventh in ratings with a 0.3/1 and in viewers with 1 million, airing reruns.