TV Ratings: Biden Town Hall Outdraws Trump's in Early Numbers

In the latest TV ratings, ABC’s broadcast of presidential Democratic candidate Joe Biden’s 90-minute town hall on Thursday night drew 12.3 million total viewers, while averaging a robust 2.6 demo rating.

Meanwhile over on NBC, President Donald Trump’s own, hour-long town hall drew 10.4 million total viewers, along with a 1.7 demo rating — with additional viewership from MSNBC and CNBC to trickle/get folded in Friday afternoon. Check back for updates! No, really.

Once again, for those in the back: Trump’s town hall also aired on MSNBC and CNBC, and both the ABC and NBC tallies are subject to adjustment in the Nielsen finals, so the total audiences for each are very much TBD.

After backing out of the originally scheduled Oct. 15 presidential debate (after it was set to be “virtual”/COVID-safe), Trump by some accounts lobbied hard for the head-to-head town hall counterprogramming (which earned NBC News more than a bit of public condemnation), hoping to come away from it with a ratings “win” that he could wave in his opponent’s face in the final weeks leading up to Election Day.

Trump’s previous town hall event, which aired Sept. 15 on ABC, delivered just shy of 4 million total viewers, while Biden’s Sept. 17 town hall on CNN drew 3.33 million viewers.

Elsewhere on Thursday….

2021 Broadcast-TV Renewal Scorecard

Launch Gallery

FOX | NLCS coverage averaged 2.7 mil and a 0.7.

CBS | Big Brother (3.9 mil/0.9) dipped, while Discovery (1.9 mil/0.3) is currently up.

NBC | Leading out of Trump’s town hall, a double pump of Connecting did 2.5 mil/0.5 and then 1.2 mil/0.2.

THE CW | Supernatural(1.03 mil/0.3) dipped from its midseason premiere, while  The Outpost (633K/0.1) was steady.

The Live+Same Day numbers reported in our ratings column do not reflect a show’s overall performance, given the increased use of delayed playback via DVR and streaming platforms, plus out-of-home viewing. These numbers (Nielsen fast nationals, unless denoted as finals) instead aim to simply illustrate trends or superlatives. Common side effects include abdominal pain and dizziness.

Want scoop on any of the above shows? Email [email protected] and your question may be answered via Matt’s Inside Line.

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