Barack Obama

AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

Now President Obama Knows How American Idol Feels: Last night's economic pep talk was big, but not quite as big as Obama's first prime-time press conference on Feb. 9. The president was off about 10 percent, from an estimated 37.2 million viewers on ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox down to 33.7 million on the same four networks. When Telemundo and Univision numbers are added in, Obama reached 38 million, Nielsen estimates showed. Still to come: the speech's cable ratings.

Now President Obama Knows How All of TV Feels: When judged against history, Obama's audience looked puny. The president's speech, which wasn't a State of the Union address, best matches an early-term Bill Clinton speech on the economy, which was watched by a whopping 64.3 million on five networks in 1993.

Its Audience Is Its Audience, However Small That May Be: Even going head-to-head with Obama, the season finale of Privileged matched its season average: 1.6 million.

Etc.: NCIS (17.9 million) drew the biggest single crowd; thanks to NCIS, CBS News drew the biggest single Obama crowd (10.5 million). Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal did a great imitation of Worst Week, blowing 38 percent of his Obama lead-in. In the 10 p.m. (ET) half-hour, the designated Republican and post-speech analysis scored 20.9 million viewers on the big four networks.

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