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Thursday Final NTIs: Michigan GOP Debate Garners Fox News’ Second-Largest Audience Ever

'The Family' Disappoints in Debut for ABC

Fox News Channel was television’s top network on Thursday night with the eleventh “Republican Presidential Debate” which hailed from Detroit, Michigan’s Fox Theatre. From 8-11 p.m., FNC averaged 13.04 million total viewers, a 2.6 adults 18-49 rating, a 2.0 adults 18-34 rating and a 3.4 adults 25-54 rating.

The event featured another batch of loud arguments between Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio as well as the first direct interaction between Trump and Fox News anchor and debate moderator Megyn Kelly since Trump was displeased with Kelly’s questions from the Aug. 8, 2015 debate.

With an average of 16.834 million total viewers, this debate was the second-largest audience ever to tune into Fox News (the aforementioned Aug. 8, 2015 GOP debate was Fox News’ most-watched night ever). It was also the fourth most-watched debate of this political season overall and the fifth consecutive GOP Debate to grow in total audience from its previous one. All eleven Republican debates to-date have averaged 15.9 million viewers and a 4.0 rating among adults 18-49.

TNT was another cable network to receive great ratings on the night, thanks to the NBA season’s third matchup of “Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Golden State Warriors”. It was the second most-watched non-Christmas NBA game in prime time this season, behind the Warriors-Thunder game on ABC just five days earlier. From the year-ago Thursday late game on TNT (Dallas at Portland on March 5, 2015), Oklahoma City-Golden State drew a +139 percent increase in total audience (3.614 million vs. 1.512 million). The game drew a 15.3 local rating in San Francisco and a 9.7 local rating in Oklahoma City.

In series premiere news, the special launch of ABC serial drama “The Family”, which stars Joan Allen, ranked a disappointing fourth among total viewers and adults 18-49 in the 9-10 p.m. time slot (behind Fox News, Fox and CBS). “The Family” will regularly air Sundays 9 pm beginning March 6.

For mobile users, you may scroll this table horizontally.
For mobile users, you may scroll this table horizontally.

Programming Insider Thursday, March 3, 2016
ABC PROGRAM HH/Share Viewers
(000)
Adults
18-34
Adults
18-49
Adults
25-54
8-11 Network Average 4.1/7 5964 1.3/6 1.7/6 2.1/6
8:00 Grey’s Anatomy 5.2/9 7665 1.9/8 2.2/8 2.6/8
9:00 The Family (p) 3.9/6 5697 1.0/4 1.5/5 1.8/5
10:00 How to Get Away with Murder 3.2/6 4531 1.0/4 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 4.8/8 7495 1.3/4 1.6/5 2.3/6
8:00 Big Bang Theory (r) 6.4/11 10083 1.0/4 1.9/7 3.0/9
8:31 Life in Pieces 5.2/9 8395 1.0/4 1.8/6 2.8/8
9:01 Mom 5.0/8 7980 0.9/4 1.7/6 2.6/7
9:30 2 Broke Girls 4.2/7 6735 0.9/4 1.7/5 2.4/6
10:00 Elementary 3.8/7 5854 0.6/3 1.1/4 1.6/5
NBC PROGRAM HH/Share Viewers
(000)
Adults
18-34
Adults
18-49
Adults
25-54
8-11 Network Average 2.1/4 3099 0.3/1 0.7/2 0.9/3
8:00 You, Me and the Apocalypse 1.6/3 2337 0.3/1 0.5/2 0.7/2
9:00 Blindspot (r) 1.5/2 2186 0.2/1 0.4/1 0.7/2
10:01 Shades of Blue 3.2/6 4772 0.5/2 1.0/3 1.4/4
FOX PROGRAM HH/Share Viewers
(000)
Adults
18-34
Adults
18-49
Adults
25-54
8-10 Network Average 5.3/9 8737 1.3/6 2.0/6 2.8/8
8:00 American Idol 5.3/9 8737 1.3/6 2.0/6 2.8/8
CW PROGRAM HH/Share Viewers
(000)
Adults
18-34
Adults
18-49
Adults
25-54
8-10 Network Average 1.1/2 1833 0.6/2 0.7/2 0.8/2
8:00 DC’s Legends of Tomorrow 1.4/2 2277 0.7/3 0.9/3 1.0/3
9:00 The 100 0.9/1 1390 0.5/2 0.5/2 0.6/2
UNI PROGRAM HH/Share Viewers
(000)
Adults
18-34
Adults
18-49
Adults
25-54
8-11 Network Average 1.1/2 1986 0.8/3
7:00 Un Camino Hacia El Destino 1.1/2 2027 0.7/3
8:02 Antes Muerta Que Lichita 1.1/2 1935 0.7/2
9:03 Pasion y Poder 1.2/2 2145 0.8/3
10:04 El Hotel de Los Secretos 1.1/2 1856 0.7/3

Sub-Demo Breakdowns – Thursday 3/03/16

Grey’s Anatomy” (ABC)
Women 18-34: 2.8/11
Men 18-34: 1.0/5
Women 18-49: 3.2/10
Men 18-49: 1.3/5

The Family” (ABC)
Women 18-34: 1.4/5
Men 18-34: 0.6/3
Women 18-49: 2.1/6
Men 18-49: 0.8/3

How to Get Away with Murder” (ABC)
Women 18-34: 1.4/6
Men 18-34: 0.6/3
Women 18-49: 1.9/6
Men 18-49: 0.8/3

Life in Pieces” (CBS)
Women 18-34: 1.2/5
Men 18-34: 0.8/4
Women 18-49: 2.1/7
Men 18-49: 1.5/6

Mom” (CBS)
Women 18-34: 1.0/4
Men 18-34: 0.7/3
Women 18-49: 2.1/6
Men 18-49: 1.4/5

2 Broke Girls” (CBS)
Women 18-34: 1.1/4
Men 18-34: 0.7/3
Women 18-49: 2.0/6
Men 18-49: 1.4/5

Elementary” (CBS)
Women 18-34: 0.8/3
Men 18-34: 0.5/2
Women 18-49: 1.3/4
Men 18-49: 0.9/3

You, Me and the Apocalypse” (NBC)
Women 18-34: 0.3/1
Men 18-34: 0.3/1
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: 0.3/1
Women 18-49: 1.3/4
Men 18-49: 0.7/3

American Idol” (Fox)
Women 18-34: 1.8/7
Men 18-34: 0.8/4
Women 18-49: 2.5/8
Men 18-49: 1.4/5

DC’s Legends of Tomorrow” (CW)
Women 18-34: 0.6/2
Men 18-34: 0.8/4
Women 18-49: 0.7/2
Men 18-49: 1.0/4

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

Republican Presidential Debate-Detroit” (Fox News Channel)
Women 18-34: 2.30
Men 18-34: 3.24
Women 18-49: 2.96
Men 18-49: 4.29

Vikings” (History)
Women 18-34: 0.28
Men 18-34: 0.45
Women 18-49: 0.49
Men 18-49: 0.67

Colony” (USA)
Women 18-34: 0.23
Men 18-34: 0.27
Women 18-49: 0.31
Men 18-49: 0.35

Baskets” (FX)
Women 18-34: 0.18
Men 18-34: 0.14
Women 18-49: 0.19
Men 18-49: 0.16

Cable Rankings – Thursday 3/03/16

What follows are the top 20 most-watched shows in prime time on cable for Thursday, March 3:


  1. “Republican Presidential Debate-Detroit” (Fox News Channel, 9:00-11:02 p.m., 10.12 household rating): 16.834 million viewers (3.62 adults 18-49 rating)

  2. “The O’Reilly Factor” (Fox News Channel, 8-9 p.m.): 5.449 (0.73)

  3. NBA Basketball: Oklahoma City Thunder @ Golden State Warriors” (TNT, 10:40 p.m.-1:05 a.m., 2.29 household rating): 3.614 million viewers (1.61 adults 18-49 rating)

  4. WWE SmackDown” (USA, 8-10 p.m., 1.55 household rating): 2.491 million viewers (0.77 adults 18-49 rating)

  5. “Flip or Flop” (HGTV, 9-9:30 p.m.): 2.073 (0.60)
  6. “Vikings” (History, 10-11:01 p.m.): 1.897 (0.58)

  7. “The Big Bang Theory” (TBS, 9:30-10 p.m.): 1.855 (0.69)

  8. “American Dad” (Adult Swim, 10:30-11 p.m.): 1.716 (0.79)

  9. “American Dad” (Adult Swim, 10-10:30 p.m.): 1.686 (0.73)

  10. “Flip or Flop” (HGTV, 9:30-10 p.m.): 1.657 (0.47)
  11. “House Hunters” (HGTV, 10-10:30 p.m.): 1.655 (0.40)

  12. “Flip or Flop” (HGTV, 8:30-9 p.m.): 1.630 (0.41)

  13. NBA Basketball: San Antonio Spurs @ New Orleans Pelicans” (TNT, 8:15-10:43 p.m., 1.07 household rating): 1.611 million viewers (0.62 adults 18-49 rating)

  14. “House Hunters International” (HGTV, 10:30-11 p.m.): 1.550 (0.35)

  15. “Anderson Cooper 360” (CNN, 8:00-9:00 p.m.): 1.547 (0.33)
  16. “The Big Bang Theory” (TBS, 9:00-9:30 p.m.): 1.517 (0.61)

  17. Movie: “Spy Kids: All the Time in the World” (2011) (Disney Channel, 8-9:35 p.m.): 1.432 (0.26)

  18. “The Cleveland Show” (Adult Swim, 9:30-10 p.m.): 1.321 (0.58)

  19. “Flip or Flop” (HGTV, 8-8:30 p.m.): 1.293 (0.31)

  20. Movie: “Zookeeper” (2011) (Nick at Nite, 8-10 p.m.): 1.230 (0.32)


  • “2 Broke Girls” (TBS, 10:00-10:30 p.m.): 1.209 (0.52)

  • “Project Runway All-Stars” (Lifetime, 9-10:02 p.m.): 1.121 (0.29)

  • “Motives & Murders: Cracking the Case” (ID, 9-10 p.m.): 1.075 (0.28)

  • “House of Horrors: Kidnapped” (ID, 10-10:30 p.m.): 1.046 (0.33)

  • “House of Horrors: Kidnapped” (ID, 10:30-11 p.m.): 1.026 (0.32)

  • “Colony” (USA, 10-11:02 p.m.): 0.968 (0.33)

  • “Beat Bobby Flay” (Food Network, 10-10:30 p.m.): 0.900 (0.32)

  • “Top Chef” (Bravo, 9-10:15 p.m.): 0.881 (0.38)

  • “Impractical Jokers” (truTV, 10-10:30 p.m.): 0.872 (0.44)

  • NBA Pre Game Show” (TNT, 8:00-8:15 p.m., 0.57 household rating): 0.825 million viewers (0.25 adults 18-49 rating)

  • “Ridiculousness” (MTV, 10-10:31 p.m.): 0.745 (0.35)

  • “My 600 Lb. Life-Super Sized” (TLC, 8-9 p.m.): 0.667 (0.20)

  • “Mary Mary” (WE-TV, 9-10 p.m.): 0.619 (0.22)

  • College Basketball: Illinois @ Maryland” (ESPN, 7:00-9:04 p.m., 0.43 household rating): 0.613 million viewers (0.21 adults 18-49 rating)

  • “Sisters in Law: First Look” (WE-TV, 10-10:06 p.m.): 0.582 (0.21)

  • “Greatest Party Story Ever Told” (MTV, 10:31-11:02 p.m.): 0.551 (0.26)

  • College Basketball: California @ Arizona” (ESPN, 9:04 -11:02 p.m., 0.37 household rating): 0.530 million viewers (0.21 adults 18-49 rating)

  • “Workaholics” (Comedy Central, 10:00-10:30 p.m.): 0.440 (0.27)

  • “Baskets” (FX, 10-10:32 p.m.): 0.399 (0.18)

  • “Those Who Can’t” (truTV, 10:30-11:01 p.m.): 0.384 (0.20)

  • “Party Down South” (CMT, 9-10 p.m.): 0.361 (0.20)

  • “Redneck Island” (CMT, 10-11 p.m.): 0.357 (0.17)

  • “Idiotsitter” (Comedy Central, 10:30-11 p.m.): 0.302 (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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8 Comments

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  1. Douglas, may we please see GSN morning Card Sharks (9am & 10am ET) and Press Your Luck (9:30am ET) ratings? Thank you

    • Card Sharks (GSN, 3/03 9:00-9:30 a.m.) 305,000 viewers; 18,000 adults 18-49

      Press Your Luck (GSN, 3/03 9:30-10:00 a.m.) 268,000 viewers; 29,000 adults 18-49

      Card Sharks (GSN, 3/03 10:00-10:30 a.m.) 249,000 viewers; 35,000 adults 18-49

  2. Would love to see the sub-demos. Thanks!

    (By the way, not sure if you’re aware of this, but you never posted the sub-demos for Tuesday, February 23.)

    • Keyes Outdoors (Destination America, 3/03 7:30-8:00 a.m.) 48,000 viewers; 0.02 adults 18-49 rating

      Sportsman’s Adventures (Destination America, 3/03 8:00-8:30 a.m.) 35,000 viewers; 0.01 adults 18-49 rating