Eleven networks carried President Obama’s State of the Union Address Wednesday night, reaching 48 million viewers. That average is down 7 percent from President Bush’s first State of the Union in 2002, but up 5 percent from President Clinton’s in 1994, according to Nielsen Media Research. Below, our usual ratings chart of the broadcast network’s primetime performances, including preliminary estimates for their State of the Union audiences. Fox, perhaps due to its American Idol lead-in, was the network of choice.

TimeShowViewers (in millions)

8 p.m.

American Idol (Fox)


8:30 p.m.

The Middle (ABC)

5.1 (repeat)

9 p.m.

State of the Union (Fox)


10: 30 p.m.

Two and a Half Men (CBS)

4.2 (repeat)

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