By Mandi Bierly
January 28, 2010 at 10:52 PM EST

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.

Time Show Viewers (in millions)
8 p.m. American Idol (Fox)

Modern Family (ABC)

The New Adventures of Old Christine (CBS)

Mercy (NBC)

Gossip Girl (The CW)


5.9 (repeat)

4.8 (repeat)

3.6 (repeat)

.7 (repeat)

8:30 p.m. The Middle (ABC)

Gary Unmarried (CBS)

5.1 (repeat)

4.5 (repeat)

9 p.m. State of the Union (Fox)

State of the Union (ABC)

State of the Union (NBC)

State of the Union (CBS)

Life Unexpected (The CW)





1.4 (repeat)

10: 30 p.m. Two and a Half Men (CBS)

Cougar Town (ABC)

4.2 (repeat)

4.1 (repeat)

Read more:

American Idol

Ken Tucker on Chris Matthews’ coverage of the State of the Union