The ninth Democratic debate of this election cycle, which saw candidates tear into former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg in his first appearance, was the most-watched ever, drawing just under 20 million total viewers.
Wednesday night’s feisty affair, which aired across MSNBC and NBC News, comfortably beat the previous record of 18 million viewers who tuned in for the NBC, MSNBC and Telemundo debate from June 2019. None of the Democratic debates thus far in this cycle have come near to the 24 million viewership figure posted by Donald Trump’s first debate on Fox News in August of 2015.
Per NBC News, last night’s debate was also the highest-rated Democratic debate ever in the key 25-54 demographic with 5.3 million. In terms of the 18-49 demographic, the debate scored 4.3 million viewers.
The five other candidates who took to the stage alongside Bloomberg were former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, and Senators Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Amy Klobuchar, Pete Buttigieg.
It was moderated by a five-person team made up of “NBC Nightly News” and “Dateline NBC” anchor Lester Holt, , NBC News chief White House correspondent and “MSNBC Live” host Hallie Jackson, “Meet the Press” moderator and NBC News political director Chuck Todd, Noticias Telemundo senior correspondent Vanessa Hauc and The Nevada Independent’s Jon Ralston.
Elsewhere, “The Masked Singer” held up incredibly well against the political frenzy, ticking up to a 1.9 rating and among adults 18-49 and drawing 7 million total viewers. “Lego Masters” followed with a 1.0 and 3.1 million viewers, down a touch on last episode.
Over on CBS, “Criminal Minds” came to strong end, drawing a season-high 5.4 million viewers on average across its back-to-back episodes. Its 0.8 rating represents a four-week high. Meanwhile “Survivor” ticked up from its season 40 premiere to a 1.4 rating and 7.2 million viewers.