TV Ratings: ‘Hand in Hand’ Hurricane Telethon Draws 15.7 Million Viewers on Broadcast

Hand in Hand telethon
YouTube screenshot

“Hand in Hand: A Benefit for Hurricane Relief Telethon” drew 15.7 million total viewers across the Big Four broadcast networks on Tuesday, according to Nielsen overnight data.

The hourlong special aired from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. Of the four networks, NBC drew the largest audience for the telethon with a 1.1 rating in adults 18-49 and 6.1 million viewers. ABC was second in the demo with a 0.7, but third in total viewers with 4 million. CBS came in third in the key demo with a 0.6, but second in viewers with 4.1 million. Fox finished fourth with a 0.4 and 1.6 million viewers. The telethon was also carried live on multiple cable networks and live-streamed on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter, though those numbers are not currently available.


‘Hand in Hand: A Benefit for Hurricane Relief’ Sees Stars Call for Unity: ‘Natural Disasters Don’t Discriminate’

Within the hour, the event raised more than $14.5 million for victims of hurricanes Harvey and Irma. The telethon reportedly collected over $44 million in total for the night.

NBC aired a new episode of “America’s Got Talent” (2.3, 11.4 million) at 9 p.m., which was down in both measures most likely due to airing later in the night because of the telethon.

At 10 p.m., ABC aired a new episode of “Somewhere Between” (0.3, 1.7 million), which was down in the demo.

Because the telethon ran as sustaining programming, it will not be included in nightlong or weeklong network averages.

NBC won the night with a 1.8 and 9.6 million viewers. CBS and ABC tied for second in the demo with a 0.5, but CBS was second in total viewers with 4.6 million. ABC landed third in total viewers with 2.6 million. Fox finished fourth with a 0.4 and 1.6 million. The CW averaged a 0.3 and 1 million viewers.

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  1. Pam says:

    I am truly confused! Of all the talent that was displaced on Hand to Hand where is all of those individuals donates. To give your time and talent for such a cause is very commendable, but to raise only 40 million. The media is stating that there is over 200 million plus in property damages.

  2. Jazzy says:

    I mean $40 million

  3. Jazzy says:

    $40 is not a joke. Especially to the victims if the hurricane.

  4. MARIE says:

    You couldn’t get through on the phone lines. I kept getting disconnected or a busy signal or an operator saying all lines are busy…try again later. If someone doesn’t have a computer or a texting phone, they were out of luck. Also, I hope we hear how that money is going to be used….

  5. Michelle says:

    I was glad to see it wasn’t all going to the Red Cross. They have issues with keeping more money than they use to help people.

  6. skep41 says:

    15 million viewers for all those ‘stars’? A pathetic $14 million take? How many of the 15 million viewers stayed with this preach-a-thon the whole time…I’ll bet not many. People are sick of being preached to. They are sick of having their honest emotions turned into a political lecture. This was a horrendous failure but the HR is smiling bravely and pretending that ratings like this for a show on all three networks with some of the biggest stars was some species of success.

    • Joey Suggs says:

      $14M in the first hour, more than $44M in less than 9 hours. That’s an impressive number, so whichever drugs are leading you to think it was a “horrendous failure” must be a particularly strong brand.

    • Michelle says:

      Got up on the wrong side of the bed?

      • Bill Walker says:

        Asking legitimate questions… and what is wrong with that? You do know that there are 330 million people in the country, right? And all they get was 15 million viewers? Looks like Hollywood really isn’t all that important to 95% of the country? Or, maybe the other 315 million people just don’t care for Hollywood turning everything into a political sideshow. Either way, these numbers prove that people DID NOT tune in to this Joke of a “telethon”

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