Turns out a fighting Donald Trump and Ted Cruz onstage in South Carolina can slap down American Idol but can’t lay a glove on The Big Bang Theory. Last night’s Fox Business Network hosted GOP Debate handed the cable newser 11 million total viewers with 3 million in the news demo of adults 25-54. That’s the second best that any program on FBN has ever done — behind the record breaking 13.5 million who watched the first GOP Debate on the channel back on November 10. The last GOP debate was in December and grabbed 18 million viewers for CNN.
Topping cable news, all of cable and actually second only to the CBS science geek comedy, the Neil Cavuto and Maria Bartiromo moderated 9-11:30 PM candidate snapathon saw frontrunner Trump and the Texas Senator go at each other over Cruz’s eligibility for the White House and the New York state of mind, among other topics. While all onstage slammed Hillary Clinton, and the likes of Sen. Marco Rubio got in a few good lines, this was The Don And Ted Show for sure.
But these GOP get-togethers might be waning in the public interest.
While last night’s event was FBN’s second most watched show ever, it was the least watched Republican debate of this election cycle to date. The kingpin remains the first GOP debate of August 6. That Trump dominated telecast drew a massive 24 million viewers from 9-11 PM ET with 7.9 million viewers watching among the key 25-54 demo. Compared to the last much more muted ABC hosted Democratic debate of December 19 last year, a Saturday, the FBN GOP battle was up 38% in total viewers.
To make a comparison to the other contenders on TV last night, the second Thursday of the final season of American Idol had 8.65 million viewers from 8-10 PM. Not having to face the GOP directly, CBS’s BBT had a huge audience of 15.49 million at 8 PM. The most watched show of the night that was only on during the Republican blood sport on FBN was CBS’ Mom, which had 8.35 million viewers.