Entertainment Weekly

Subscribe

Stay Connected

Subscribe

Advertise With Us

Learn More

Skip to content

Article

Ratings: Obama press conference tops 'American Idol' as the week's most-watched show

Posted on

Hail to the chief, once again: President Barack Obama’s press conference last Tuesday easily drew the most viewers on broadcast television for the week ending March 29. The commander in chief attracted 29.5 million viewers across the four major broadcast networks, besting American Idol‘s performance episode by 3.5 million viewers. Idol, of course, steered clear of Obama’s primetime event, moving its performance episode (26 million viewers) to Wednesday and results installment (23.1 million viewers), which saw Michael Sarver go home, to Thursday.

That schedule change was a big help to Hell’s Kitchen, which capitalized on its special Idol lead-in and enjoyed its second-highest-rated installment of the season, drawing 10.1 million viewers. And that’s good news for the cooking competition, which has been averaging a shrinking 8.8 million viewers, compared to 11.3 million last season. Still, despite the viewership drop, Fox must have faith in Hell’s Kitchen, as the network just greenlit yet another cycle to begin airing July 22.

Also of note was ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy, which came in at No. 7 with 16.1 million viewers, its second-highest draw of the season (the premiere got 18.5 million watchers). Interestingly, last week’s sugary-yet-action-packed episode (Meredith and Derek got engaged, Izzie had her brain surgery) fared better than those much-hyped Private Practice crossover episodes, which seemed to give Private Practice a rather substantial viewership bump.

March Madness also consumed TV ratings for the week: Three games from the NCAA tournament — on Thursday, Friday, and Sunday — scored in the Top 20, rolling in at Nos. 16, 18, and 19. Otherwise, the Top 20 features few surprises. The full listing is after the jump.

1. Presidential Press Conference | ABC, CBS, Fox, & NBC | 29.5 million
2. American Idol | Fox | 26.0 million
3. American Idol | Fox | 23.1 million
4. Dancing With the Stars | ABC | 20.3 million
5. NCIS | CBS | 17.8 million
6. The Mentalist | CBS | 17.6 million
7. Dancing with the Stars | ABC | 16.1 million
    Grey’s Anatomy | ABC | 16.1 million
9. 60 Minutes | CBS | 14.4 million
    Criminal Minds | CBS | 14.4 million
11. CSI: Miami | CBS | 13.7 million
12. CSI: NY | CBS | 12.6 million
13. The Amazing Race 14 | CBS | 12.0 million
14. Cold Case | CBS | 11.9 million
15. Two and a Half Men (R) | CBS | 11.1 million
16. NCAA Basketball | CBS | 11.1 million
17. Extreme Makeover: Home Edition | ABC | 10.8 million
18. NCAA Basketball | CBS | 10.6 million
19. NCAA Basketball | CBS | 10.4 million
      24 | Fox | 10.4 million

Source: Nielsen Media Research, week of March 23-29

1. Presidential Press Conference | ABC, CBS, Fox, & NBC | 29.5 million
2. American Idol | Fox | 26.0 million
3. American Idol | Fox | 23.1 million
4. Dancing With the Stars | ABC | 20.3 million
5. NCIS | CBS | 17.8 million
6. The Mentalist | CBS | 17.6 million
7. Dancing with the Stars | ABC | 16.1 million
    Grey’s Anatomy | ABC | 16.1 million
9. 60 Minutes | CBS | 14.4 million
    Criminal Minds | CBS | 14.4 million
11. CSI: Miami | CBS | 13.7 million
12. CSI: NY | CBS | 12.6 million
13. The Amazing Race 14 | CBS | 12.0 million
14. Cold Case | CBS | 11.9 million
15. Two and a Half Men (R) | CBS | 11.1 million
16. NCAA Basketball | CBS | 11.1 million
17. Extreme Makeover: Home Edition | ABC | 10.8 million
18. NCAA Basketball | CBS | 10.6 million
19. NCAA Basketball | CBS | 10.4 million
      24 | Fox | 10.4 million

Source: Nielsen Media Research, week of March 23-29