Broadcast primetime live + same-day ratings for Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016

Note: Live coverage of the final presidential debate on the Big 4 networks will result in greater than usual adjustments in the final nationals.

The numbers for Wednesday:

Time Show Adults 18-49 Rating/Share Viewers (millions)
8 p.m. It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (ABC) – S 2.2/8 7.66
Survivor (CBS) 1.9/7 8.63
Lethal Weapon (FOX) 1.7/6 6.61
Blindspot (NBC) 1.3/5 5.62
Arrow (The CW) 0.6/2 1.80
8:30 p.m. Toy Story of Terror (ABC) – S 2.0/6 6.70
9 p.m. Presidential Debate (ABC) (9-10:30 p.m.) 2.8/8 9.84
Presidential Debate (NBC) (9-10:30 p.m.) 2.8/8 9.18
Presidential Debate (CBS) (9-10:30 p.m.) 2.2/6 9.00
Presidential Debate (FOX) (9-10:30 p.m.) 2.0/6 6.30
Frequency (The CW) 0.4/1 1.05
10:30 p.m. Debate Analysis (ABC) 2.2/7 7.70
Debate Analysis (NBC) 2.2/7 7.37
Debate Analysis (CBS) 1.7/5 7.09


Early indications are that the final presidential debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton will fall somewhere between the numbers for the first two debates.

Pending updates, the combined audience on ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC was 34.32 million, above the preliminary 29.77 million for the second debate (which didn’t air on NBC due to its “Sunday Night Football” contract) but well short of the early 45.31 million for the candidates’ first face-off. Spanish-language channels Univision (2.34 million) and Telemundo (1.54 million) added a little under 4 million more.

Among non-debate programming, ABC’s annual airing of “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” led the night in adults 18-49 with a 2.2 rating. “Toy Story of Terror” followed with a 2.0.

“Lethal Weapon” (1.7) held up pretty well without “Empire” as a companion on FOX, dipping 0.2 vs. last week. “Survivor” (1.9) ticked down a tenth of a point for CBS. “Arrow” slipped to 0.6 on The CW, but “Frequency” (0.4) is currently up a tenth. “Blindspot” improved 0.2 week to week to a 1.3 on NBC.

Network averages:

Adults 18-49 rating/share 2.5/8 2.2/7 2.0/7 1.9/6  0.5/2
Total Viewers (millions) 8.60 7.69 8.71 6.46 1.43


Late-night metered market ratings (adults 18-49, households):

11:35 p.m.

“The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” – R: 0.8/4, 2.2/5

“Jimmy Kimmel Live”: 0.7/4, 2.1/5

“The Late Show with Stephen Colbert”: 0.6/3, 2.7/7

12:35 a.m.

“Nightline”: 0.4/3, 1.5/5

“Late Night with Seth Meyers” – R: 0.4/3, 1.0/4

“The Late Late Show with James Corden”: 0.3/3, 1.3/4

: Estimated percentage of the universe of TV households (or other specified group) tuned to a program in the average minute. Ratings are expressed as a percent.
Fast Affiliate Ratings: These first national ratings are available at approximately 11 a.m. ET the day after telecast. The figures may include stations that did not air the entire network feed, as well as local news breaks or cutaways for local coverage or other programming. Fast Affiliate ratings are not as useful for live programs and are likely to differ significantly from the final results, because the data reflect normal broadcast feed patterns. 
Share (of Audience): 
The percent of households (or persons) using television who are tuned to a specific program, station or network in a specific area at a specific time. 
Time Shifted Viewing:
 Program ratings for national sources are produced in three streams of data – Live, Live +Same-Day and Live +7 Day. Time-shifted figures account for incremental viewing that takes place with DVRs. Live+SD includes viewing during the same broadcast day as the original telecast, with a cut-off of 3 a.m. local time when meters transmit daily viewing to Nielsen for processing. Live +7 ratings include  viewing that takes place during the 7 days following a telecast.

Source: The Nielsen Company.

Posted by:Rick Porter

Rick Porter has been covering TV since the days when networks sent screeners on VHS, one of which was a teaser for the first season of "American Idol." He's left-handed, makes a very solid grilled cheese and has been editor of TV by the Numbers since October 2015. He lives in Austin.

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