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Ratings: ABC’s Obama Town Hall Falls to ‘Big Brother’

CBS reality series outpaces discussion on race in America in all key measures

ABC’s town hall with President Obama drew solid ratings on Thursday night, but not solid enough to beat out “Big Brother” on CBS.

The ABC News special about race relations in America, “The President and the People: A National Conversation,” drew an estimated 5.8 million viewers and a 1.0 rating in the advertiser-coveted adults 18-49 demographic at 8 p.m. ET, according to early Nielsen estimates. “Big Brother” averaged 6 million viewers and a 1.9 rating at 9.

It is worth noting that the special was presented without commercial interruption and was simulcast on ESPN and Freeform.

CBS finished first for the night overall with 5.5 million viewers and a 1.3 rating. Repeats of “Big Bang Theory” and “Life in Pieces” aired at 8 and 8:30 p.m. ET, respectively, followed by “Big Brother” at 9. A repeat of “Code Black” followed at 10.

ABC finished second with 4.4 million viewers and third in the demo with a 0.9 rating. “The President and the People” aired at 8 p.m. ET. “Greatest Hits” drew 4.4 million viewers and a 0.9 rating at 9. A repeat of “Match Game” followed at 10.

Fox finished third in total viewers with 3.2 million and tied for fourth in the demo with a 0.7 rating. “Bones” got 4.2 million viewers and a 0.8 rating at 8 p.m. ET. “Home Free” got 2.1 million viewers and a 0.5 rating at 9.

NBC finished fourth in total viewers with 2.6 million and tied for fourth in the demo with a 0.7 rating. A repeat of “Spartan” aired at 8 p.m. ET, followed by a new episode at 9, which drew 3 million viewers and a 0.9 rating. “Aquarius” managed just 1.8 million viewers and a 0.5 rating at 10.

Univision finished just behind NBC with 2.59 million viewers for a fifth-place ranking but came in second in the demo with a 1.1 rating.

Telemundo came in sixth with 1.7 million viewers and a 0.6 rating.

The CW finished seventh with 714,000 viewers and a 0.2 rating. A repeat of “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow” aired at 8 p.m. ET. “Beauty and the Beast” aired at 9, drawing 723,000 viewers and a 0.2 rating.