Entertainment Weekly

Stay Connected

Subscribe

Advertise With Us

Learn More

Skip to content

Article

Ratings: President Obama's speech dominates the week

Posted on

What’s bigger than American Idol? Barack Obama. On his 36th day in office, the new President addressed a joint session of Congress (the first-term equivalent of a State of the Union address) and cleaned up in the ratings, drawing 35.6 million viewers across ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC. Outside of those big four broadcast networks, his speech drew 16.8 million on Telemundo, Univision, CNBC, CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC for a total viewership of 52.4 million.

Coming in at Nos. 2 and 3 was American Idol, which is sagging from previous seasons but still on top of any other regular program. Of note in the rest of the Top 20 for the week was CBS’ fifth installment in their Jesse Stone movie franchise, the Tom Selleck starrer Jesse Stone: Thin Ice, which appeared at No. 6 with 15.2 million viewers. This latest sequel outdrew the last one (which aired in May 2007) by 2.2 million viewers. When is CBS going to turn this movie series into an actual series?

ABC’s Brothers & Sisters also delivered with a two-hour “movie” (that’s in quotes because it was really nothing more than a two-hour episode). The installment didn’t fully deliver on the deathly promises in the promos (coming back from the dead doesn’t count!). But the special did deliver in terms of ratings, pulling in the series’ second-highest viewership of the season behind its premiere back in September 2008.

The rest of the Top 20? It looked about the same as ever, dominated by CBS procedurals, mostly, a little reality (No. 18 The Bachelor, No. 19 The Amazing Race), and a few other odds and ends (No. 8 60 Minutes, No. 14 24, No. 11 Two and a Half Men). The full list — with viewer totals — is after the jump.

1. Presidential Address to Congress | ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC | 35.6 million
2. American Idol Wednesday | Fox | 24.5 million
3. American Idol Thursday | Fox | 20.9 million
4. NCIS | CBS | 18.3 million
5. CSI | CBS | 17.7 million
6. Jesse Stone: Thin Ice | CBS | 15.2 million
7. House | Fox | 14.9 million
8. 60 Minutes | CBS | 14.2 million
9. Criminal Minds | CBS | 13.9 million
10. CSI: NY | CBS | 12.6 million
11. Two and a Half Men (R) | CBS | 12.1 million
     Survivor: Tocantins | CBS | 12.1 million
13. Brothers & Sisters | ABC | 12.0 million
14. Eleventh Hour | CBS | 11.7 million
     24 | Fox | 11.7 million
16. Ghost Whisperer | CBS | 11.5 million
17. Extreme Makeover: Home Edition | ABC | 11.0 million
18. The Bachelor | ABC | 10.9 million
19. The Amazing Race | CBS | 10.6 million
20. CSI: Miami | CBS 10.1 million

1. Presidential Address to Congress | ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC | 35.6 million
2. American Idol Wednesday | Fox | 24.5 million
3. American Idol Thursday | Fox | 20.9 million
4. NCIS | CBS | 18.3 million
5. CSI | CBS | 17.7 million
6. Jesse Stone: Thin Ice | CBS | 15.2 million
7. House | Fox | 14.9 million
8. 60 Minutes | CBS | 14.2 million
9. Criminal Minds | CBS | 13.9 million
10. CSI: NY | CBS | 12.6 million
11. Two and a Half Men (R) | CBS | 12.1 million
     Survivor: Tocantins | CBS | 12.1 million
13. Brothers & Sisters | ABC | 12.0 million
14. Eleventh Hour | CBS | 11.7 million
     24 | Fox | 11.7 million
16. Ghost Whisperer | CBS | 11.5 million
17. Extreme Makeover: Home Edition | ABC | 11.0 million
18. The Bachelor | ABC | 10.9 million
19. The Amazing Race | CBS | 10.6 million
20. CSI: Miami | CBS 10.1 million

Comments