TV Ratings: VP Debate Up Fractionally on 2016 in Early Numbers

Wednesday night’s Vice Presidential debate was a lively affair, as Kamala Harris described the Trump administration’s response to COVID-19 as “the greatest failure of any presidential administration in the history of our country.”

Perhaps partly due to the fact it was easily more watchable than the Trump-Biden debate, the Harris-Pence affair is on course to attract a slightly larger audience than the 2016 debate between Pence and Tim Kaine. According to early Nielsen numbers, around 22.6 million viewers tuned in last night across the four major broadcast networks as well as Telemundo and Univision. That’s up around 6% on the previous VP debate at the same stage.

That number will increase significantly once the cable news networks and other platforms are factored in, and it remains to be seen whether it will be able to overtake the 2016 contest, which scored the smallest television audience for a vice-presidential contest since the year 2000. That rather dull 2016 sparring session ended up with 37 million total viewers all told. This story will be update with the full numbers once they are available.

Elsewhere in ratings world, “The Masked Singer” kicked off the night for Fox with a 1.4 rating and 5.7 million total viewers, a loss of over 1 million viewers from the previous episode.

“The Weakest Link,” hosted by Jane Lynch, came in even at a 0.8 rating and 4.5 million viewers for NBC, while “Big Brother” delivered a 0.9 rating and 4.2 million pairs of eyeballs for CBS.

The CW aired its first ever episode of “Devils” to a 0.1 rating and 626,000 total viewers, followed by a new episode of “Coroner” to the same rating and 717,000 viewers.

More to come…

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