October 23, 2020


Note: Numbers for the PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE on ABC, NBC and CBS and NFL THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL on FOX will rise in the official nationals when live viewing on the West Coast before 8PM PT is factored in.  With respect to early ratings vs early ratings for the Debate, the current 5.3 for the 3 networks compares to 5.8 for the first Debate (which also aired on FOX at 1.3).

DEMOGRAPHIC DETAIL: For each broadcast program (or hour segment), the chart below displays preliminary live+same day key advertiser demographics (adult 18-34, 18-49 and 25-54 ratings), audience skews (women 18-49, men 18-49 and adults 50+ shares) and total viewership (thousands of people over the age of 2).

Ratings analysis and comparisons follow the chart.

ABC:  After a lead-in special at 0.8, the Debate is currently at 2.1, down half a point from the network’s preliminary rating for the first debate.

CBS:  BIG BROTHER was steady at 1.0, then the Debate is currently at 1.1, steady with the first Debate.

NBC:  After a lead-in special at 0.8, the Debate is currently at a steady 2.1.

FOX:  The preliminary rating for THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL is 2.1.

CW:  SUPERNATURAL (0.3) and THE OUTPOST (0.1) were steady.

Tonight, FOX returns to its coverage of the WORLD SERIES.

COMPARISONS TO SIMILAR NIGHTS: Preliminary adult 18-49 live+same day ratings versus the same night last year and same night last week.

Note: The fast affiliate-based ratings below measure what aired on network affiliates in 210 U.S. markets from 8-11 pm Eastern & Pacific or 7-10 pm Central & Mountain. The numbers are some combination of the network schedule and any pre-emptions (such as local news or weather coverage). Accurate program ratings will be available this afternoon with the broadcast finals.

CABLE RATINGS: Come back this afternoon for detailed demographic ratings for top Thursday cable programs and broadcast finals.






About the Author

Mitch Metcalf
MITCH METCALF has been tracking every US film release of over 500 screens (over 2300 movies and counting) since the storied weekend of May 20, 1994, when Maverick and Beverly Hills Cop 3 inspired countless aficionados to devote their lives to the art of cinema. Prior to that, he studied Politics and Economics at Princeton in order to prepare for his dream of working in television. He has been Head of West Coast Research at ABC, then moved to NBC in 2000 and became Head of Scheduling for 11 years.


  1. Destiny

    Much better from Trump this time. I felt that the man’s lack of a filter often demerits some good points that he makes. I think he needs to just take the win and bow out graciously on some debate points.

    He’s clearly passionate about the job, I saw as much from one of his campaign rally speechs recently. But trash talking your opponents in the manner he does just doesn’t sit right with me. I know he’s under attack from all sides but I think he needs to be the better person and brush it off and move on.

    Anyways yeah. I’m neither a Republican or Democrat and that’s what I thought. I have always liked Trump from his reality TV days. Even if I don’t agree with some of his politics. I think he has a good chance of a second term.

  2. 69 Road Runner

    Trump got in a lot more body blows, but Biden at least did well enough not to crumble from the barrage. Biden still seems to be a bit doddering in his speech pattern, like he’s 10 or 15 years older than Trump, even though the age difference is only a handful of years.

  3. nan

    Glad to see civil discourse from Destiny and 69 Road Runner.

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