TV Ratings: Final Debate Rules, ABC’s Halloween Scares Up a Win

The final debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump dominated the airwaves Wednesday night.

ABC was tops in total viewers within the 9-10:30 p.m. block, with an average audience of 9.84 million and a 2.8 18-49 rating. NBC averaged 9.18 million viewers and a 2.8 in the demo as well. CBS drew 9.29 million and a 2.2 demo rating. Fox came in with 6.3 million total viewers and a 2.0 demo.

The debate lasted until 10:36 p.m., at which point everyone but Fox went into post-brawl coverage. From 10:30-11, ABC averaged 7.7 million viewers and a 2.2 in the demo, NBC averaged 7.37 million viewers and a 2.2 in the demo, and CBS averaged 7.09 million viewers and a 1.7 demo rating.

But the debate wasn’t the only thing that aired last night on broadcast. ABC’s block of family Halloween programming at 8 p.m. easily bested everything else in the hour in the demo, including CBS stalwart “Survivor” (1.9 demo rating, 8.63 million viewers). Old classic “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” drew a 2.2 in the demo and 7.66 million viewers, and new classic “Toy Story of Terror” came in with a 2.0 demo and 6.7 million viewers.

On NBC, “Blindspot” added a couple tenths to its demo rating from last week, drawing a 1.3 in the demo and 5.62 million viewers.

Without its “Empire” lead-out, “Lethal Weapon” on Fox dropped a couple tenths from last week to a 1.7 demo rating and 6.6 million viewers.

Over on The CW, which, as usual, didn’t air debate coverage, “Arrow” ticked down again to a 0.6 demo rating (compared to a 0.7 last week) and 1.8 million total viewers. “Frequency” grew slightly, to a 0.4 in the demo and 1.05 million viewers.

As a reminder, most of these shows will see viewership gains of at least 50% once viewing within three and seven days is counted. But if the first two weeks of C3, or commercial, ratings are any indication, most of those gains won’t translate into the deliveries networks promise advertisers.

More TV

  • Meryl Streep

    Meryl Streep to Narrate Apple Animated Short About Earth Day

    Meryl Streep is the latest big name heading to Apple. The acclaimed actor is attached to narrate a forthcoming animated short film about Earth Day, which is slated to premiere April 17 on Apple TV Plus. Titled “Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth,” the short will also feature the voices of “State [...]

  • NAPTE 40th Anniversary

    Why NATPE Miami Is a 'Booming Area for Media and Multiculturalism'

    The NATPE conference will mark its tenth iteration of dealmaking, networking, brainstorming and ocean-gazing in Miami this year. The move of the association’s annual market and conference to Miami Beach in 2011 was born out of desperate times, but the balmy setting has proven to be a boon for the National Assn. of Television Program [...]

  • Paris Recreated for Movie Productions on

    TSF Recreates Paris on Former Air Base for Movie and TV Shoots

    As French outfits move to expand their studio offerings, industry eyes have turned to a 20-hectare stretch of land 20 miles south of Paris. There, in the commune Plessis-Pâté, sits the TSF Backlot 217, a converted air base that has become one the Gallic industry’s banner initiatives. One of France’s leading production suppliers, TSF scoped [...]

  • DSC07163.ARW

    Streamers Urge French Production Sector to Go Green

    For the French industry, the drive to open up additional studio spaces has gone hand-in-hand with the push for green production, because for the most part, they share the same root cause: The international streamers that are causing a surge in audiovisual production tend to have strict criteria when it comes to sustainable development. “Companies [...]

  • The Immortal

    Beta Scores Multi-Title Deals in the U.S., Latin America (EXCLUSIVE)

    MADRID  — Ahead of next week’s Natpe market in Miami, Beta, one of the biggest independent TV-film powerhouses in Europe, has confirmed a swathe of sales on its U.S. TV movie productions and high-end spin-off series “Gomorrah: The Immortal.” The sales flag Beta’s diversified production-distribution model, and the continuing appetite for TV movies in the U.S., [...]

  • Discovery Corporate New Logo

    Intl. TV Newswire: Discovery U.K. Records, Netflix Stop Motion, Annecy Growth

    In this week’s International TV Newswire, Variety recaps Discovery U.K.’s best-ever year, a new Netflix stop motion series from Nexus Studios, Annecy’s growth, DCD’s pre-sales and Natpe lineup and another plaudit for “Friends” creators David Crane and Marta Kauffman. 2019 Marks Biggest Year Yet for Discovery U.K. Discovery U.K. enjoyed a banner year in 2019, with total [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content