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TV Ratings: Ted Cruz Fireworks Aren’t Huge Draw for Broadcast, But NBC Wins Night Three of RNC Coverage

Ted Cruz may have set Twitter and the Quicken Loans Arena ablaze when he gave a speech at the Republican National Convention last night that did not actually endorse nominee Donald Trump, but early ratings didn’t quite reflect the political fireworks.

In total, NBC, CBS and ABC’s coverage of the third night of the RNC drew 9.78 million total viewers and a 2.2 rating in the 18-49 demo, according to Nielsen fast national data. NBC took the lion’s share, with 5.65 million viewers and a 1.3 in the demo. CBS followed with 2.11 million and a .4, and ABC brought in 2.02 million and a .5.

Tuesday night’s fast nationals adjusted down in the finals for NBC, so this may well happen later today, too. The night’s speeches, which also included Vice President pick and Indiana governor Mike Pence and Trump’s son Eric, spilled well over into the 11 o’clock hour, pushing back local news and late night shows around 20 minutes on the east coast, and shows like CBS’ “Big Brother” out west.

NBC won the night with “America’s Got Talent” (2.2 demo/10.22 million) and its RNC coverage. CBS weighed in with “Big Brother” (1.7/5.47 million) and “American Gothic” (.6/2.46 million). Fox had new episodes of “Masterchef” (1.2/3.8 million) and “Wayward Pines” (.7/2.12). The CW had one new episode of “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” (.3/1.11). ABC was once again in comedy repeats for the two hours preceding their RNC coverage.

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