Barack Obama, Sasha Obama, Malia Obama, Michelle Obama

Joe Raedle/Getty Images

So, there was an upset last night, after all. 90210 actually got a rating.

That was no small task, considering a whopping 14 networks amassed a whopping 71.5 million viewers for their coverage of Barack Obama's historic presidential win.

Per Nielsen stats released this afternoon, the election-night audience was up 21 percent over 2004 (59.2 million), and up 16 percent over 2000 (61.6 million).

ABC was Tuesday's top broadcast network, averaging 13.1 million viewers from 8 to 11 p.m. (ET), Nielsen said; CNN carried the cable vote, with 12.3 million.

Drilling down into the numbers:

  • CNN outdrew NBC (12 million), and every campaign-covering network, save ABC.
  • Blue-skewing electoral map or no, Fox News (9 million) was up 11 percent from 2004.
  • Blue-skewing MSNBC (5.9 million) was up, too. By 111 percent.
  • CBS (7.8 million) got lots of press for Katie Couric's grilling of Sarah Palin, but it got fewer election-night viewers than 2004 (down 18 percent).
  • Up against the Obama onslaught from 8 to 9 p.m., the CW's plucky and/or foolish 90210 scored 3 million viewers, only about 500,000 off from its season average.
  • From 9 to 10 p.m., the CW's Privileged (2.3 million) drew more viewers than its season average (2.2 million).

(Originally published Nov. 5, 2008, at 12:45 p.m. PT.)

  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Share

We and our partners use cookies on this site to improve our service, perform analytics, personalize advertising, measure advertising performance, and remember website preferences. By using the site, you consent to these cookies. For more information on cookies including how to manage your consent visit our Cookie Policy.