TV Ratings: Presidential Debate Dips With Round 2, Thursday Football Drops

Ratings Presidential Debate

In the latest TV ratings, the second presidential debate amassed 23 million total viewers across ABC, CBS and NBC, down 20 percent from the broadcast-only numbers for last month’s first face-off, which also aired on Fox.

TVLine readers gave moderator Kristen Welker an average grade of “B,” compared to Chris Wallace’s “D-” at the first debate (and VP debate moderator Susan Page’s “C-“).

Update: With PBS, cable channels (including CNN, Fox News Channel, MSNBC, Newsmax and WGNA) and other outlets now factored in, the second debate drew a grand total of 63 million viewers, down 14 percent from the Sept. 29 debate.


CBS | Big Brother (4.3 mil/1.0, read recap) ticked up in audience and was steady in the demo week-to-week.

THE CW | Supernatural (925K/0.3, read recap) and The Outpost (464K/0.1) both dipped in audience while steady in the demo.

FOX | Thursday Night Football drew 7 mil and a 2.1, down 30 percent from the fast nationals for Fox’s previous hosting of the game.

The Live+Same Day numbers reported in our ratings column do not reflect a show’s overall performance, given the increased use of delayed playback via DVR and streaming platforms, plus out-of-home viewing. These numbers (Nielsen fast nationals, unless denoted as finals) instead aim to simply illustrate trends or superlatives. Warning: Contents may be hot!

Want scoop on any of the above shows? Email InsideLine@tvline.com and your question may be answered via Matt’s Inside Line.

GET MORE: Sports, TV Ratings