Ratings: President Obama’s ‘Running Wild’ Captures 3.5 Million Viewers

Special climbs 24 percent in overall audience size from last Bear Grylls original

Last Updated: December 18, 2015 @ 12:12 PM

President Obama ran wild with Bear Grylls Thursday night, handing NBC a solid 3.5 million total viewers at 10 p.m.

The special “Running Wild” rose 24 percent in total viewers from the last original, which aired on Sept. 7. In the key 18-49 demographic, however, it was down one-tenth of a ratings point versus that one. Last night’s escapade only had reruns as its lead-in, while the semi-comparable September episode had a far-better “American Ninja Warrior” in front of it on the schedule.

CBS, which had “Thursday Night Football” in a handful of markets, topped Thursday outright. The Les Moonves-led network got major Nielsen numbers out of “The Big Bang Theory” — and the rest of primetime followed suit.

ABC finished second, thanks to Barbara Walters’ “Most Fascinating People of 2015” special.

CBS was first in ratings with a 2.1 rating/7 share in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demographic and in total viewers with an average of 9.7 million, according to preliminary numbers. “The Big Bang Theory” at 8 p.m. earned a huge 4.1/16 and 17.4 million viewers. “Life in Pieces” at 8:30 posted a 2.5/9 and 11.2 million viewers. “Mom” at 9 had a 2.0/7 and 9.6 million viewers. At 9:30, “2 Broke Girls” got a 1.7/6 and 7.3 million viewers. “Elementary” at 10 received a 1.2/4 and 6.4 million viewers.

ABC was second in ratings with a 0.9/3 and in viewers with 4.7 million. Following reruns, “Barbara Walters Presents: The 10 Most Fascinating People of 2015” at 10 put up a 1.1/4 and 6.6 million viewers.

NBC, Univision and Telemundo all tied for third in ratings, each with a 0.7. Univision had a 3 share, while NBC and Telemundo both got a 2. NBC was third in total viewers with 3.1 million; Univision was fifth with 2 million; Telemundo was sixth with 1.8 million.

For NBC, following its own repeats, “Running Wild” landed a 0.9/3 and 3.5 million viewers.

Fox was sixth in ratings with a 0.5/2, but fourth in viewers with 2.2 million. At 8, special “American Country Countdown’s Top 10 Stories of 2015” managed a 0.5/2 and 2.2 million viewers. At 9, “World’s Funniest” got a 0.5/2 and 1.8 million viewers.

The CW was seventh in ratings with a 0.4/1 and in viewers with 1.1 million. The “iHeartRadio Jingle Ball 2015” had a 0.4/2 and 1.2 million viewers. A rerun followed.