With NBC airing encores and ABC mainly in repeats, President Donald Trump was the big ticket Wednesday night with a one-hour special on the Disney-owned network.
Hosted by ABC News anchor David Muir, the 10 PM President Donald Trump: The White House Interview (1.7/6) was the night’s top-rated and most-watched show. For a POTUS who loves to be No. 1 and on top of the ratings mountain, that’s going to be good news for the ex-Celebrity Apprentice host and ABC.
To put in some Commander-In-Chief context, the 45th POTUS’ first Big 4 interview from the White House more than doubled the results of NBC News’ chat with the 44th POTUS Barack Obama on January 13, and up 143% in the key demo from Trump’s predecessor’s final Big 4 sit-down on 60 Minutes on January 15. While not apples to apples, those comparisons are far better than Obama’s first Big 4 interview on CBS on March 22, 2009, which pulled in a 3.9 rating and 17.05 million viewers. For one, that sit-down nearly eight years ago came after Obama had spoken to the likes of Dubai-based Al-Arabiya on January 26, 2009, and that 60 Minutes interview followed much-watched coverage of that year’s NCAA March Madness.
Touching on torture, building that wall on the Mexican border and more, the Trump interview last night drew 7.50 million viewers for ABC. It easily drew the most eyeballs of the night and more than 1 million more than the second most-watched show of Wednesday (and with no college hoops bump).
Overall, with just that one show last night, ABC tied Fox in the 18-49s with a 1.3/5 rating, with the Disney-owned net second in total viewership with 5.35 million to CBS’ 5.52 million.
Of course, despite the sure-to-come ratings-boasting tweets to follow, it wasn’t all Trump all night Wednesday.
For CBS, Hunted (1.4/5) was caught in some ratings reality after its massive January 22 debut following the very well watched AFC Championship Game. Now in its regular slot, the 8-10 PM reality show took a 66% tumble in the demo from its best series debut of the season. Lead-out Code Black (0.9/3) was even with its last original January 11.
The CW saw the return of Arrow (0.6/2) from its Season 5 winter break with some old faces showing up – kind of. Down a tenth from its last original December 7 last year, the “Who Are You?” episode of the Stephen Amell-led DC Comics series fell 45% among adults 18-49 from its Season 4 winter return on January 27, 2016. Arrow was followed last night by the Season 1 finale of the yet-to-be-renewed Frequency (0.3/1), which was up a tenth from last week.
Fox’s Lethal Weapon (1.4/5), the second most watched show of the night with 6.25 million viewers, and Star (1.2/4 ) were even with their January 18 episodes.