Record Ratings for Debate

ABC landed 10.7 million viewers for its coverage of the Democratic debate on Thursday, making it the most watched such forum this election cycle.

According to Nielsen Media Research, viewership peaked the 8:30 and 9 p.m. time slot with 11.8 million viewers, beating “Deal or No Deal” on NBC and “Big Brother” on CBS. “American Idol” beat it in the second hour, although the debate still drew about 10 million.

ABC News’ ratings beat the previous record holder, the New Hampshire presidential debate that drew 9.4 million viewers. The network broadcast that debate as well.

Meanwhile, debate continued to rage over the nature of the debate. Per the Los Angeles Times, Obama said on Thursday, “It was 45 minutes until we started talking about a single issue that matters to the American people.”

George Stephanopoulos defended the nature of the questions to the Politico’s Michael Calderone, telling him “we asked tough but appropriate questions.”

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