Here’s the updated Nielsen tally for President Obama’s State of the Union address on Tuesday night:

42.8 million viewers, the lowest total since the final year of George W. Bush’s presidency, and down from 48 million last year.

So much for that pointless Pew Research Center poll I wrote about a couple of days ago, in which 61% of American adults — about three times as many as actually tuned in — said they intended to watch the speech.

Sorry, but people aren’t nearly as civic-minded as they say they are. Besides, “Southland” was on.

This isn’t meant to pick on the folks at Pew, except that there was ample evidence there poll was full of crap, and they put the results out anyway. Just what the media needs: More dumb, misleading numbers.

Meanwhile, there was actually something last night funnier than Rep. Michele Bachmann’s Tea Party response to the president, which I didn’t think was possible: According to today’s ratings grid, ABC followed its live coverage of the speech with … “Cougar Town!”

Hey, I realize a random half-hour in primetime to fill is awkward, but really? “Thank you for watching ABC News’ coverage of the State of the Union address. Now stay tuned for ‘Cougar Town.'”

Stay classy, ABC!