Last night’s chaotic affair averaged around 15.3 million viewers, with ViacomCBS network BET drawing 523,000 more. That makes it the third most watched debate of this cycle, behind two debates on NBC and MSNBC, the latter of which scored 19.7 million viewers, a record total for a Democratic debate. Ratings-wise, the debate scored a 3.4 in the key news demographic of adults aged 25-54.
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.
Seven candidates took to the stage last night, namely former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, businessman Tom Steyer and Senators Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Amy Klobuchar, Pete Buttigieg
NBC came second on Tuesday night, with “This Is Us” ticking up from last week to a 1.4 rating and just over 7 million total viewers. Prior to that “The Voice” also came in at a 1.4 and was the most watched non-debate programming of the night with 8.5 million viewers. “New Amsterdam” rose to a 0.7 and 5.2 million viewers, a six-week high.
Over on Fox, back-to-back episodes of “Gordon Ramsay’s 24 Hours to Hell and Back,” including the season finale, scored a 0.6 rating and averaged around 2 million viewers.
“The Conners” took an 18% hit on ABC, falling to a 0.9 rating and 5.1 million viewers. The rest of the Disney-owned network’s lineup was even, with “Bless This Mess” and “For Life” scoring a 0.6, and “Black-ish” and “Mixed-ish” coming in at a 0.5.
Finally on the CW, “The Flash” came in even at a 0.4 and 1.2 million viewers, as did “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow” at a 0.2 and 753,000 total viewers.