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Ratings Chart Attack!

Obama Press Conference Draws 36.9 Mil on Broadcast Nets

February 10, 2009 11:56 AM

Some 36.9 million viewers watched President Barack Obama's first news conference in primetime on the four major broadcast networks, posting a combined 11.4 rating/30 share at 8 p.m. EST, according to preliminary Nielsen Media Research figures.


Click here for updated numbers on President Obama's press conference.

More viewers tuned into ABC during the 8 p.m. hour, but CBS won the night with strong performances from its Monday night comedies and "CSI: Miami." (Coverage in the 8 p.m. hour was sustained, and updated time-zone-adjusted figures will be released later Tuesday.)

On CBS, "Two and a Half Men" was the No. 1 telecast of the night, followed by a special "The Big Bang Theory," which reached new series highs in the demo and among total viewers. Overall the network finished with a 3.8/9 and 12.5 million viewers.

ABC trailed behind CBS for the night by one-tenth of a point, averaging a 3.7/9 (11.1 million). After the president's news conference, a new "The Bachelor" was on par with its season highs from last week.

NBC finished the night third with a 3.1/8 (8.5 million), with "Heroes" dipping 13% from last week to post its lowest rating ever and "Medium" slipping 7% from its season premiere last week.

A new episode of "24" on Fox ranked fourth for the hour, slipping 8% from its rating last week. The network finished fourth with a 2.8/7 (8.2 million).

The CW aired repeats of "Gossip Girl" and "One Tree Hill" to average a 0.7/2 (1.5 million) in the demo and a 1.4 rating among women 18-34.

Primetime Preliminary Monday Ratings









3.7 / 9

Presidential News Conference

3.1 / 8

11.5 million

The Bachelor

4.0 / 10

10.9 million


3.8 / 9

Presidential News Conference

3.0 / 8

9.8 mil

Two and a Half Men

4.7 / 11

14. 9 mil

The Big Bang Theory

4.6 / 10

13.1 mil

CSI: Miami

3.9 / 10

13.7 mil


2.8 / 7

Presidential News Conference

2.2 / 6

5.9 mil


3.4 / 8

10.5 mil

No Programming


3.1 / 8

Presidential News Conference

3.1 / 8

9.8 mil


3.5 / 8

7.9 mil


2.7 / 7

7.9 mil


0.7 / 2

Gossip Girl

0.8 / 2

1.7 mil

One Tree Hill

0.6 / 1

1.4 mil

No Programming

Source: Nielsen Media Research

*Ratings are specified in the 18- to 49-year-old demographic and viewership in P2+.

A note about ratings: Ratings are expressed as percentages of Nielsen's estimated 114.5 million U.S. television households. The first number, the rating, is a percentage of households tuned into a specific program at a specific time.

The second number, the share, is a percentage of households with televisions in use tuned into that same program. For example, if a show obtains a 10.2/16, this means that 10.2% of all U.S. households tuned into the program at some point during the broadcast. Meanwhile, 16% of all households watching television during the time period viewed the program at some point. Ratings are broken down further by demographic, as networks sell advertising time based on the makeup of the audience.


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