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Thursday Final Nationals: CNN Wins Night Despite Second Least-Watched GOP Debate of Election Cycle

CNN was Thursday night’s most-watched network in prime time with an average of 9.47 million total viewers. CNN also topped all networks among adults 18-49 (1.9 rating) and tied ABC for No. 1 in adults 18-34 (1.3 rating). The twelfth “Republican Presidential Debate” from Florida was much more calm and civil than recent previous GOP debates, resulting in the second least-watched GOP debate of the 2016 presidential election season (debate fatigue may also be a factor). Still, this debate outdrew all but one of this cycle’s debates from the Democratic Party.

TV’s No. 1 comedy “The Big Bang Theory” on CBS delivered a season-low to-date in total viewership for an original episode but it was the night’s most-watched telecast on TV overall and led its network to an adults 25-54 victory with a 2.7 rating/8 share.

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Programming Insider Thursday, March 10, 2016
ABC PROGRAM HH/Share Viewers
(000)
Adults
18-34
Adults
18-49
Adults
25-54
8-11 Network Average 4.2/7 6098 1.3/6 1.7/6 2.1/6
8:00 Grey’s Anatomy 5.1/9 7525 1.6/7 2.1/7 2.5/7
9:00 Scandal 4.2/7 5972 1.2/5 1.7/6 2.1/6
10:00 How to Get Away with Murder 3.4/6 4796 1.0/5 1.4/5 1.7/5
CBS PROGRAM HH/Share Viewers
(000)
Adults
18-34
Adults
18-49
Adults
25-54
8-11 Network Average 5.1/9 8193 1.1/5 1.8/6 2.7/8
8:00 Big Bang Theory 9.0/16 14682 2.1/10 3.5/13 5.1/15
8:31 Life in Pieces 5.3/9 8553 1.2/5 2.0/7 3.0/8
9:01 Mom 4.9/8 7880 1.0/5 1.7/6 2.6/7
9:30 2 Broke Girls 4.1/7 6544 0.9/4 1.6/5 2.3/6
10:00 Elementary 3.7/7 5637 0.6/3 1.0/4 1.5/4
NBC PROGRAM HH/Share Viewers
(000)
Adults
18-34
Adults
18-49
Adults
25-54
8-11 Network Average 2.3/4 3376 0.4/2 0.7/3 1.0/3
8:00 You, Me and the Apocalypse 1.5/3 2224 0.3/2 0.5/2 0.7/2
9:00 Law & Order: SVU (r) 2.1/4 3044 0.4/2 0.6/2 0.9/2
10:00 Shades of Blue 3.2/6 4859 0.5/2 1.0/4 1.4/4
FOX PROGRAM HH/Share Viewers
(000)
Adults
18-34
Adults
18-49
Adults
25-54
8-10 Network Average 4.9/8 8060 1.1/5 1.8/6 2.6/7
8:00 American Idol 4.9/8 8060 1.1/5 1.8/6 2.6/7
CW PROGRAM HH/Share Viewers
(000)
Adults
18-34
Adults
18-49
Adults
25-54
8-10 Network Average 1.0/2 1607 0.4/2 0.6/2 0.7/2
8:00 DC’s Legends of Tomorrow 1.3/2 2009 0.5/2 0.7/3 0.9/3
9:00 The 100 0.8/1 1204 0.3/1 0.4/1 0.5/1
UNI PROGRAM HH/Share Viewers
(000)
Adults
18-34
Adults
18-49
Adults
25-54
8-11 Network Average 1.1/2 2022 0.8/3
7:00 Un Camino Hacia El Destino 1.1/2 1952 0.7/3
8:02 Sueno de Amor 1.0/2 1846 0.7/3
9:01 Pasion y Poder 1.3/2 2370 1.0/3
10:03 El Hotel de Los Secretos 1.0/2 1820 0.7/3

Sub-Demo Breakdowns – Thursday 3/10/16

Grey’s Anatomy” (ABC)
Women 18-34: 2.3/10
Men 18-34: 0.9/5
Women 18-49: 3.0/10
Men 18-49: 1.2/5

Scandal” (ABC)
Women 18-34: 1.7/7
Men 18-34: 0.7/5
Women 18-49: 2.4/8
Men 18-49: 0.9/3

How to Get Away with Murder” (ABC)
Women 18-34: 1.5/6
Men 18-34: 0.6/3
Women 18-49: 2.0/7
Men 18-49: 0.7/3

Big Bang Theory” (CBS)
Women 18-34: 2.4/10
Men 18-34: 1.8/10
Women 18-49: 3.9/13
Men 18-49: 3.1/13

Life in Pieces” (CBS)
Women 18-34: 1.3/5
Men 18-34: 1.0/5
Women 18-49: 2.4/8
Men 18-49: 1.7/6

Mom” (CBS)
Women 18-34: 1.2/5
Men 18-34: 0.8/4
Women 18-49: 2.2/7
Men 18-49: 1.3/5

2 Broke Girls” (CBS)
Women 18-34: 1.1/4
Men 18-34: 0.7/4
Women 18-49: 2.0/6
Men 18-49: 1.3/4

Elementary” (CBS)
Women 18-34: 0.7/3
Men 18-34: 0.5/2
Women 18-49: 1.2/4
Men 18-49: 0.9/3

You, Me and the Apocalypse” (NBC)
Women 18-34: 0.4/2
Men 18-34: 0.2/1
Women 18-49: 0.6/2
Men 18-49: 0.4/2

Shades of Blue” (NBC)
Women 18-34: 0.7/3
Men 18-34: 0.4/2
Women 18-49: 1.2/4
Men 18-49: 0.8/3

American Idol” (Fox)
Women 18-34: 1.5/6
Men 18-34: 0.7/3
Women 18-49: 2.4/8
Men 18-49: 1.3/5

DC’s Legends of Tomorrow” (CW)
Women 18-34: 0.5/2
Men 18-34: 0.6/3
Women 18-49: 0.6/2
Men 18-49: 0.9/3

The 100” (CW)
Women 18-34: 0.3/1
Men 18-34: 0.3/1
Women 18-49: 0.4/1
Men 18-49: 0.5/2

Republican Presidential Debate-Florida” (CNN)
Women 18-34: 1.35
Men 18-34: 1.95
Women 18-49: 1.93
Men 18-49: 2.87

Vikings” (History)
Women 18-34: 0.36
Men 18-34: 0.42
Women 18-49: 0.56
Men 18-49: 0.79

Colony” (USA)
Women 18-34: 0.28
Men 18-34: 0.34
Women 18-49: 0.34
Men 18-49: 0.41

Baskets” (FX)
Women 18-34: 0.19
Men 18-34: 0.23
Women 18-49: 0.15
Men 18-49: 0.21

Cable Rankings – Thursday 3/10/16

What follows are the top 20 most-watched shows in prime time on cable for Thursday, March 10:


  1. “Republican Presidential Debate-Florida” (CNN, 8:59-11:02 p.m., 7.23 household rating): 11.808 million viewers (2.39 adults 18-49 rating)

  2. “Anderson Cooper 360” (CNN, 8:00-8:54 p.m.): 4.225 (0.79)

  3. “The O’Reilly Factor Special” (Fox News Channel, 8-9 p.m.): 2.955 (0.27)

  4. “Vikings” (History, 10-11:01 p.m.): 2.233 (0.68)

  5. WWE SmackDown” (USA, 8-10 p.m., 1.42 household rating): 2.186 million viewers (0.65 adults 18-49 rating)
  6. “Flip or Flop” (HGTV, 9-9:30 p.m.): 2.085 (0.58)

  7. “American Dad” (Adult Swim, 10:30-11 p.m.): 1.946 (0.96)

  8. Movie: “Up” (2009) (Disney Channel, 8-9:45 p.m.): 1.915 (0.46)

  9. “The Big Bang Theory” (TBS, 9:30-10 p.m.): 1.852 (0.67)

  10. “American Dad” (Adult Swim, 10-10:30 p.m.): 1.825 (0.88)
  11. NBA Basketball: Cleveland Cavaliers @ Los Angeles Lakers” (TNT, 10:40 p.m.-1:09 a.m., 1.14 household rating): 1.778 million viewers (0.8- adults 18-49 rating)

  12. “Flip or Flop” (HGTV, 9:30-10 p.m.): 1.713 (0.44)

  13. “House Hunters: Where Are They Now” (HGTV, 10-10:30 p.m.): 1.700 (0.41)

  14. “House Hunters International” (HGTV, 10:30-11 p.m.): 1.598 (0.37)

  15. NBA Basketball: Chicago Bulls @ San Antonio Spurs” (TNT, 8:14-10:40 p.m., 0.95 household rating): 1.469 million viewers (0.56 adults 18-49 rating)
  16. “Flip or Flop” (HGTV, 8:30-9 p.m.): 1.453 (0.40)

  17. “The Cleveland Show” (Adult Swim, 9:30-10 p.m.): 1.422 (0.62)

  18. “The Big Bang Theory” (TBS, 9:00-9:30 p.m.): 1.405 (0.53)

  19. “60 Days In” (A&E, 9:59-11:02 p.m.): 1.314 (0.49)

  20. “Bob’s Burgers” (Adult Swim, 9-9:30 p.m.): 1.284 (0.56)


  • “The First 48” (A&E, 8-9 p.m.): 1.254 (0.38)

  • “Project Runway All-Stars” (Lifetime, 9-10:02 p.m.): 1.215 (0.31)

  • “Colony” (USA, 10-11:04 p.m.): 1.091 (0.37)

  • “Top Chef” (Bravo, 9-10 p.m.): 0.921 (0.38)

  • “Motives & Murders: Cracking the Case” (ID, 9-10 p.m.): 0.898 (0.22)

  • NBA Pre Game Show” (TNT, 8:00-8:14 p.m., 0.59 household rating): 0.886 million viewers (0.31 adults 18-49 rating)

  • “House of Horrors: Kidnapped” (ID, 10-10:30 p.m.): 0.808 (0.24)

  • College Basketball Scoreboard” (ESPN2, 8:52-9:19 p.m., 0.50 household rating): 0.800 million viewers (0.20 adults 18-49 rating)

  • College Basketball: ACC Tournament: Georgia Tech vs. Virginia” (ESPN, 7:00-9:06 p.m., 0.55 household rating): 0.799 million viewers (0.26 adults 18-49 rating)

  • “Surviving Evil” (ID, 8-9 p.m.): 0.786 (0.21)

  • College Basketball: Big Ten Tournament: Nebraska vs. Wisconsin” (ESPN2, 9:19-11:25 p.m., 0.50 household rating): 0.785 million viewers (0.22 adults 18-49 rating)

  • “House of Horrors: Kidnapped” (ID, 10:30-11 p.m.): 0.764 (0.23)

  • College Basketball Scoreboard” (ESPN, 9:06-9:29 p.m., 0.48 household rating): 0.718 million viewers (0.22 adults 18-49 rating)

  • “Child Genius” (Lifetime, 10:02-11:02 p.m.): 0.663 (0.19)

  • “My 600 Lb. Life-Super Sized” (TLC, 8-9 p.m.): 0.652 (0.23)

  • “Impractical Jokers” (truTV, 10-10:30 p.m.): 0.651 (0.33)

  • “Ridiculousness” (MTV, 10-10:31 p.m.): 0.611 (0.30)

  • College Basketball: ACC Tournament: Virginia Tech vs. Miami” (ESPN, 9:29-11:44 p.m., 0.42 household rating): 0.592 million viewers (0.20 adults 18-49 rating)

  • College Basketball: Big 12 Tournament: Iowa State vs. Oklahoma” (ESPNU, 9:32-11:40 p.m., 0.35 household rating): 0.592 million viewers (0.20 adults 18-49 rating)

  • “Party Down South” (CMT, 9-10 p.m.): 0.528 (0.25)

  • “Mary Mary” (WE-TV, 9-10 p.m.): 0.520 (0.20)

  • “Workaholics” (Comedy Central, 10:00-10:30 p.m.): 0.476 (0.30)

  • “Redneck Island” (CMT, 10-11 p.m.): 0.418 (0.18)

  • “Baskets” (FX, 10-10:32 p.m.): 0.396 (0.18)

  • “Greatest Party Story Ever Told” (MTV, 10:31-11:02 p.m.): 0.380 (0.18)

  • “Idiotsitter” (Comedy Central, 10:30-11 p.m.): 0.311 (0.17)


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. Douglas, may I please get O’Hurley Feud ratings (1pm and 1:30pm ET) from GSN? Also, can you please reply to my post a couple Sundays ago about GSN for Feb 22-28 primetime/total day average? Thanks