With news of the fatal attack in Nice unfolding in real time and controversy over promises the daughter of Eric Garner says ABC News made her about asking a question, the network’s The President And The People: Race In America (1.0/4) felt like both old news and breaking news simultaneously last night.
As cable news covered events in France, the one-hour pre-taped commercial-free special, with President Barack Obama was a ratings middleweight for ABC. Drawing 5.76 million viewers, the David Muir hosted town hall, which was also shown on ESPN and Freeform, certainly did better than when the President was on CNN back on January 7 for a Guns In America town hall. That Anderson Cooper question and answer pulled in 2.4 million total viewers. And the convo with the Commander-in-Chief was up a tenth from what a new BattleBots had in the slot last week. However, the ABC town hall was easily topped in the demo and in total viewers (7.20 million) by a The Big Bang Theory (1.5/7) repeat at 8PM – leaving CBS to win the slot.
Overall, CBS won primetime with a 1.3/4 rating among adults 18-49 and 5.52 million viewers. The House of Moonves’ only original of the night was Big Brother (1.9/7) at 9 PM. The highest rated show of the night, the reality competition show bopped up 6% in the demo from last week’s early number and even with the adjusted final results. ABC was second among the Big 4 and the CW last night with a 0.9/4 and 4.43 million viewers. The Disney owned net’s Greatest Hits (0.9/4) was even with the final numbers of its July 7 show.
Bones (0.8/3) was down a tenth from its last original for Fox while Home Free (0.5/2) was even with last week. The CW’s Beauty and the Beast (0.2/1) also matched its July 7 show. NBC’s Spartan: Ultimate Challenge (0.9/4) was also the same as last week but Aquarius (0.5/2) rose 25% in among the 18-49s to hit a Season 2 high and the best the show has done since June 25 last year.
To bookend, here is ABC News’ statement about Erica Garner’s claims that she was promised an opportunity to ask the President a question and denied that opportunity yesterday:
“We took an extra 30 minutes to get to as many people as we could during the town hall. The President spoke to several people after the event ended, including at length with Erica Garner.”