It was like a political Coachella last night at the Democratic National Convention – and not just because Lenny Kravitz was playing. With star turns from Vice President Joe Biden and then primetime performances from VP hopeful Tim Kaine and then President Barack Obama himself, the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia was rockin’ – even more so when nominee Hillary Clinton made an onstage appearance at the very end to hug it out with POTUS – though it didn’t lead to ratings fireworks it seems in the early numbers.
The former Secretary of State will be the headliner tonight, but last night saw NBC and ABC tie in that 10 PM slot where the Big 3 are showing the DNC live. Looking at the 10 – 11 PM ET hour, the Comcast-owned net and the Disney-owned net both got a 0.7/4 rating among adults 18-49. In overall viewers in early numbers, NBC was tops with 3.6 million viewers and ABC had 2.7 million. CBS was third with a 0.4 and 2.0 million watching. With President Obama speaking until around 11:15 PM ET, which is when Clinton made her cameo, expect a greater than usual adjustment later today.
Even with all the big names onstage last night, convention-to-convention, the combined rating of the DNC stumbled against Donald Trump and the RNC. Day 3 in Philadelphia was down 18% in the fast affiliates key demo from the drama of Day 3 in Cleveland when Ted Cruz refused to endorse the candidate and running mate Mike Pence spoke.
This is the first night RNC coverage has topped DNC coverage this election year. NBC for instance, pulled in a 1.3/5 rating in early numbers on July 20 with a two-hour America’s Got Talent as a lead in. With an original The Night Shift (1.1/4) at 9 PM after a new AGT (1.7/7), which was down 26% from July 20 and Tuesday night’s show, NBC last night saw a drop of 46% in 18-49s from Day 3 of the RNC. While CBS is even with its non-adjusted numbers, ABC had a 40% jump over its demo results for Day 3 of the RNC.
Two of the nets saw viewership drops from Day 3 of the RNC with NBC down 37% and CBS dipping 2%. ABC, on the other hand, had a 33% uptick in viewers last night from the 2.02 million who watched their RNC coverage on July 20. Looking at the Bill Clinton-dominated second night of the DNC, last night’s combined 18-49 numbers were down 25% from July 26’s early numbers.
Overall, NBC won the night, with AGT as the top-rated and most-watched show, with a 1.2/5 and 6.24 million viewers. In second place among the demo were CBS, which had a tenth declining Big Brother (1.6/7) and an even American Gothic (0.6/2) before its convention coverage and Fox, which had MasterChef (1.0/5) and the Season 2 finale of Wayward Pines (0.7/3). The Gordon Ramsey series took a two tenth hit but Wayward stayed on course and was even with its July 20 show – though down 42% from its Season 1 ender of July 23 last year. ABC was all encores before its DNC coverage.