UPDATED: It was a night of high drama Tuesday with a number of twists in the results from the historic midterm elections and a major cliffhanger when Stacey Abrams refused to concede the Georgia governor’s race.
In primetime, NBC topped the coverage of the broadcast networks in metered market household ratings with a 4.2 rating/7 share, followed by ABC (4.0/6) and CBS (3.0/5). Until the final ratings results come out later today, these are the only numbers that accurately reflect the news coverage, which was live across the country.
It is worth noting that NBC and CBS were both way below their household deliveries with regular programming the previous week, while ABC actually out-delivered its Tuesday series except for The Conners.
Once the main attraction on election night, the broadcast networks have increasingly been playing second fiddle to the 24-hour news networks which tend to draw the lion’s share of viewers for major political events. We will report cable numbers when they become available later this morning.
Fox and the CW stuck with their regular programming, with Fox the only one in originals. In the early numbers, Fox’s The Gifted and Lethal Weapon experienced an uptick in households from last week. The trend held up in the fast nationals, with The Gifted (0.7 in adults 18-49, 2.4 million) and Lethal Weapon (0.7, 3.2 million) both up a tenth in the demo, adding a few eyeballs, making the only first-run entertainment alternative on broadcast good counter-programming to wall-to-wall political coverage.