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Thursday Final Nationals: CNN and Telemundo Combine to Deliver Largest Debate Audience in Two Months

CNN was the top single network on Thursday night among total viewers (approximately 10.8 million) and adults 18-49 (~2.2 rating). The tenth “Republican Presidential Debate”, on both CNN and Spanish-language outlet Telemundo, featured the 3-way shouting match between candidates Donald Trump, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz. Based on the combined viewership of 14.5 million from both networks, it was the most-watched debate since CNN’s GOP debate from Dec. 15, 2015, and ranks as the fifth most-watched political debate overall to-date in this presidential election season.

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Programming Insider Thursday, February 25, 2016
ABC PROGRAM HH/Share Viewers
(000)
Adults
18-34
Adults
18-49
Adults
25-54
8-11 Network Average 4.1/7 5985 1.4/6 1.8/6 2.1/6
8:00 Grey’s Anatomy 5.0/8 7231 1.8/8 2.1/7 2.4/7
9:00 Scandal 4.0/7 5846 1.3/5 1.7/6 2.1/6
10:00 How to Get Away with Murder 3.4/6 4878 1.2/5 1.5/5 1.8/5
CBS PROGRAM HH/Share Viewers
(000)
Adults
18-34
Adults
18-49
Adults
25-54
8-11 Network Average 5.3/9 8584 1.1/5 1.9/6 2.8/8
8:00 Big Bang Theory 9.7/16 15937 2.3/10 3.8/14 5.5/16
8:31 Life in Pieces 5.6/9 9207 1.3/6 2.1/7 3.1/9
9:01 Mom 4.9/8 7903 1.0/4 1.8/6 2.6/7
9:30 2 Broke Girls 4.2/7 6555 0.9/4 1.7/5 2.4/6
10:00 Elementary 3.7/7 5816 0.5/2 1.1/4 1.5/4
NBC PROGRAM HH/Share Viewers
(000)
Adults
18-34
Adults
18-49
Adults
25-54
8-11 Network Average 3.0/5 4513 0.5/2 1.0/3 1.4/4
8:00 You, Me and the Apocalypse 1.7/3 2576 0.4/2 0.6/2 0.8/2
9:00 The Blacklist 3.8/6 5972 0.7/3 1.3/4 1.8/5
10:01 Shades of Blue 3.4/6 4975 0.5/2 1.0/4 1.5/4
FOX PROGRAM HH/Share Viewers
(000)
Adults
18-34
Adults
18-49
Adults
25-54
8-10 Network Average 5.2/9 8719 1.4/6 2.1/7 2.9/8
8:00 American Idol 5.2/9 8719 1.4/6 2.1/7 2.9/8
CW PROGRAM HH/Share Viewers
(000)
Adults
18-34
Adults
18-49
Adults
25-54
8-10 Network Average 1.2/2 1940 0.6/3 0.7/2 0.8/2
8:00 DC’s Legends of Tomorrow 1.6/3 2473 0.8/3 0.9/3 1.1/3
9:00 The 100 0.9/1 1407 0.5/2 0.6/2 0.6/2
UNI PROGRAM HH/Share Viewers
(000)
Adults
18-34
Adults
18-49
Adults
25-54
8-11 Network Average 1.2/2 2119 0.8/3
7:00 Un Camino Hacia El Destino 1.1/2 1999 0.7/3
8:03 Antes Muerta Que Lichita 1.1/2 1954 0.8/3
9:02 Antes Muerta Que Lichita 1.3/2 2345 0.9/3
10:04 El Hotel de Los Secretos 1.2/2 2032 0.8/3

Sub-Demo Breakdowns – Thursday 2/25/16

Grey’s Anatomy” (ABC)
Women 18-34: 2.5/10
Men 18-34: 1.0/5
Women 18-49: 3.1/10
Men 18-49: 1.1/4

Scandal” (ABC)
Women 18-34: 1.9/7
Men 18-34: 0.8/3
Women 18-49: 2.6/8
Men 18-49: 0.9/3

How to Get Away with Murder” (ABC)
Women 18-34: 1.7/7
Men 18-34: 0.7/3
Women 18-49: 2.2/7
Men 18-49: 0.9/3

The Big Bang Theory” (CBS)
Women 18-34: 2.7/11
Men 18-34: 1.9/9
Women 18-49: 4.1/14
Men 18-49: 3.4/13

Life in Pieces” (CBS)
Women 18-34: 1.6/6
Men 18-34: 1.1/5
Women 18-49: 2.3/7
Men 18-49: 1.9/7

Mom” (CBS)
Women 18-34: 1.3/5
Men 18-34: 0.8/4
Women 18-49: 2.1/6
Men 18-49: 1.5/5

2 Broke Girls” (CBS)
Women 18-34: 1.1/4
Men 18-34: 0.7/3
Women 18-49: 1.9/5
Men 18-49: 1.4/5

Elementary” (CBS)
Women 18-34: 0.6/2
Men 18-34: 0.4/2
Women 18-49: 1.2/4
Men 18-49: 1.0/4

You, Me and the Apocalypse” (NBC)
Women 18-34: 0.4/2
Men 18-34: 0.4/2
Women 18-49: 0.7/2
Men 18-49: 0.5/2

The Blacklist” (NBC)
Women 18-34: 0.8/3
Men 18-34: 0.6/2
Women 18-49: 1.4/4
Men 18-49: 1.1/4

Shades of Blue” (NBC)
Women 18-34: 0.6/3
Men 18-34: 0.4/2
Women 18-49: 1.3/4
Men 18-49: 0.8/3

American Idol” (Fox)
Women 18-34: 1.7/7
Men 18-34: 1.0/5
Women 18-49: 2.6/8
Men 18-49: 1.6/6

DC’s Legends of Tomorrow” (CW)
Women 18-34: 0.6/3
Men 18-34: 0.9/4
Women 18-49: 0.8/3
Men 18-49: 1.1/4

The 100” (CW)
Women 18-34: 0.5/2
Men 18-34: 0.5/2
Women 18-49: 0.5/2
Men 18-49: 0.6/2

Vikings” (History)
Women 18-34: 0.36
Men 18-34: 0.44
Women 18-49: 0.53
Men 18-49: 0.75

Colony” (USA)
Women 18-34: 0.19
Men 18-34: 0.25
Women 18-49: 0.32
Men 18-49: 0.37

Baskets” (FX)
Women 18-34: 0.20
Men 18-34: 0.24
Women 18-49: 0.21
Men 18-49: 0.27

Cable Rankings – Thursday 2/25/16

What follows are the top 20 most-watched shows in prime time on cable for Thursday, February 25:


  1. “Republican Presidential Debate-Houston” (CNN, 8:42-10:53 p.m., 7.87 household rating): 13.101 million viewers (2.70 adults 18-49 rating)

  2. “Republican Presidential Debate-Intro” (CNN, 8:30-8:42 p.m., 4.61 household rating): 7.439 million viewers (1.24 adults 18-49 rating)

  3. “Anderson Cooper 360 Post Debate Special” (CNN, 10:53 p.m.-1 a.m., 2.53 household rating): 3.893 million viewers (0.92 adults 18-49 rating)

  4. “Anderson Cooper 360” (CNN, 8:00-8:30 p.m.): 3.092 (0.52)

  5. WWE SmackDown” (USA, 8-10 p.m., 1.53 household rating): 2.395 million viewers (0.76 adults 18-49 rating)
  6. “Flip or Flop” (HGTV, 9-9:30 p.m.): 2.314 (0.69)

  7. “The O’Reilly Factor Special” (Fox News Channel, 8-9 p.m.): 2.032 (0.19)

  8. “Vikings” (History, 10-11:01 p.m.): 2.021 (0.64)

  9. “Flip or Flop” (HGTV, 9:30-10 p.m.): 1.903 (0.53)

  10. “House Hunters” (HGTV, 10-10:30 p.m.): 1.877 (0.48)
  11. “American Dad” (Adult Swim, 10:30-11 p.m.): 1.855 (0.88)

  12. “The Big Bang Theory” (TBS, 9:30-10 p.m.): 1.757 (0.65)

  13. “Flip or Flop” (HGTV, 8:30-9 p.m.): 1.727 (0.47)

  14. “House Hunters International” (HGTV, 10:30-11 p.m.): 1.647 (0.40)

  15. “American Dad” (Adult Swim, 10-10:30 p.m.): 1.641 (0.77)
  16. Movie: “Meet the Robinsons” (2007) (Disney Channel, 8-9:40 p.m.): 1.596 (0.30)

  17. “The Kelly File” (Fox News Channel, 10:54-11 p.m.): 1.445 (0.19)

  18. “The Big Bang Theory” (TBS, 9:00-9:30 p.m.): 1.349 (0.52)

  19. “Flip or Flop” (HGTV, 8-8:30 p.m.): 1.335 (0.38)

  20. NBA Basketball: Oklahoma City Thunder @ New Orleans Pelicans” (TNT, 8:14-10:43 p.m., 0.85 household rating): 1.333 million viewers (0.57 adults 18-49 rating)


  • “Real Detective” (ID, 10-11 p.m.): 1.146 (0.27)

  • NBA Basketball: Houston Rockets @ Portland Trail Blazers” (TNT, 10:43 p.m.-1:23 a.m., 0.77 household rating): 1.124 million viewers (0.51 adults 18-49 rating)

  • “Murder Book” (ID, 9-10 p.m.): 1.025 (0.22)

  • “Lip Sync Battle” (Spike, 10-10:33 p.m.): 1.020 (0.48)

  • “Colony” (USA, 10-11:05 p.m.): 1.000 (0.35)

  • “Project Runway All-Stars” (Lifetime, 9-10:02 p.m.): 0.972 (0.30)

  • “Beat Bobby Flay” (Food Network, 10-10:30 p.m.): 0.908 (0.29)

  • “College Basketball: Florida State @ Duke” (ESPN, 7:00-9:03 p.m.): 0.908 (0.27)

  • College Basketball: Indiana @ Illinois” (ESPN, 9:03-10:46 p.m., 0.58 household rating): 0.872 million viewers (0.25 adults 18-49 rating)

  • “My 600 Lb. Life-Super Sized” (TLC, 8-9 p.m.): 0.856 (0.24)

  • NBA Pre Game Show” (TNT, 8:00-8:14 p.m., 0.56 household rating): 0.842 million viewers (0.31 adults 18-49 rating)

  • “Top Chef” (Bravo, 9-10 p.m.): 0.833 (0.37)

  • “Impractical Jokers” (truTV, 10-10:30 p.m.): 0.774 (0.42)

  • “Ridiculousness” (MTV, 10-10:31 p.m.): 0.652 (0.35)

  • “Party Down South” (CMT, 9-10 p.m.): 0.638 (0.33)

  • “Tamar & Vince” (WE-TV, 9-10 p.m.): 0.622 (0.29)

  • “Child Genius” (Lifetime, 10:02-11:02 p.m.): 0.597 (0.16)

  • “Workaholics” (Comedy Central, 10:00-10:30 p.m.): 0.582 (0.35)

  • “Baskets” (FX, 10-10:33 p.m.): 0.483 (0.24)

  • “Greatest Party Story Ever Told” (MTV, 10:31-11:02 p.m.): 0.438 (0.20)

  • “Redneck Island” (CMT, 10-11 p.m.): 0.431 (0.19)

  • “Idiotsitter” (Comedy Central, 10:30-11 p.m.): 0.379 (0.22)

  • “College Basketball: UCLA @ California” (ESPN2, 9:03-11:06 p.m.): 0.242 (0.06)

  • “NHL Hockey: Nashville Predators @ Chicago Blackhawks” (NBCSN, 8:03-10:38 p.m.): 0.197 (0.07)

  • “College Basketball: SMU @ Memphis” (ESPN2, 7:00-9:03 p.m.): 0.197 (0.05)

  • “College Basketball: Providence @ Seton Hall” (FS1, 7:00-9:01 p.m.): 0.114 (0.03)

  • “College Basketball: Nebraska @ Penn State” (ESPNU, 7:00-9:04 p.m.): 0.085 (0.02)

  • “College Basketball: St. John’s @ DePaul” (FS1, 9:15-11:26 p.m.): 0.044 (0.01)

  • “College Basketball: Winthrop @ High Point” (ESPNU, 9:04-11:04 p.m.): 0.026 (0.01)


Source: Live+Same Day data, Nielsen Media Research

Written by Douglas Pucci

Douglas Pucci (a.k.a. “Son of the Bronx”) has worked with Mr. Berman for more than a decade. A Bronx native, NYU graduate and once-intern for VH1's "Pop Up Video," Pucci went on to design, build and maintain websites for various non-profit organizations in his hometown of New York City. He also contributes to the sports website Awful Announcing.

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  1. Telemundo’s broadcast of the only GOP debate sanctioned by the Republican National Committee (RNC) aired by a Spanish-language network, reached a cumulative audience of 3 million total viewers, according to Nielsen. Produced in partnership with CNN, the debate which was broadcast on Thursday, February 25 from 8:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. ET, averaged 1,220,000 total viewers, 531,000 adults 18 to 49 and 607,000 adults 25 to 54.