Fox News is back on top.
Take a second to process that before you faint out of shock.
Thursday’s Fox News/Google debate drew the biggest TV audience of any contest thus far, passing the NBC News/Politico debate, which aired on MSNBC Sept. 7.
Also read: MSNBC Sets New Bar for GOP Debates
According to Nielsen, 6.1 million people tuned in for the first Fox debate that featured co-frontrunner Rick Perry. Fox's competitors would say ratings continue to rise as the season progresses, and there is truth to that. Fox would say these numbers are impressive given all of the TV shows premiering last night, and that is valid as well.
Whichever way you slice it, Fox, whose dominance in the day-to-day ratings is incontrovertible, reclaimed its its edge in total viewers.
However, the same cannot be said when it comes to the coveted adults 25-54 demographic. While Fox set a new high for its own debates with 1.7 million, MSNBC's last debate still holds the top spot with an edge of about 27,000 viewers.
So, as a report earlier this week indicated, Fox's viewership remains older than its rivals.
One other note: the debate propelled Fox to its highest-rated primetime of the year both in total viewers, 5.3 million, and in the demo, 1.4 million.