Donald Trump Oval Office Border Wall Pitch Clocks 41 Million Viewers

By Lisa de Moraes, Dominic Patten

donald trump chuck schumer nancy pelosi

UPDATED: Donald Trump vs. Nancy Pelosi: Border Wall clocked about 41 million people Tuesday night from 9-9:30 PM.

POTUS’s first primetime Oval Office Address, in which he attempted to convince a skeptical public his border “crisis” can only be fixed with a border wall worth shuttering a chunk of the federal government over, found its biggest audiences on Fox News Channel (8.044M) and CBS (8.043M) which had warmed up the crowd airing NCIS earlier in the night.

Together they bested NBC (7.030M) ABC (4.432M), MSNBC (4.243M), CNN (3.571M) and Fox broadcast network (2.562M). Univision logged 1.7 million viewers.

In the news demo, NBC (2.758M) led FNC (1.870M), CBS (1.625M), ABC (1.621M), CNN (1.388M), Fox broadcast network (1.172M), and MSNBC (811K). 

Trump’s address fell a little short of the 45.6M he’d clocked for his first State of the Union Address, one year ago this month. But, before delivering his 10-minute-ish Oval Office speech, Trump had tried to manage expectations, telling reporters in an off-record briefing that he was not on board with the strategy, knowing that brawling, not gravitas/moral authority, to be his strong suit.

Trump told the reporters his media minders had insisted on the scripted performance in the intimate setting, no doubt thinking the setting might lend an air of dignity to the personal-obsession pitch that is heading the government to its longest shutdown in history, which many pundits consider a bigger danger to the country than what actually is going on at the border. But it lacked the raucousness of a Trump rally, or the orgy of standing ovations of a SOTU’ Address.

Trump is scheduled to deliver his second SOTU on January 29.

Previous: The New Year is kicking off pretty well for Nancy Pelosi as the past and current Speaker of the House of Representatives just hit Donald Trump where it hurts the former Celebrity Apprentice host the most – in the ratings.

With a 29.3/47 in metered markets results on CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox News Channel and MSNBC, Pelosi and fellow Democrat and Senate Minority leader Chuck Schumer’s live rebuttal topped Trump’s Oval Office speech on the government shutdown and his demand for a wall on the southern border. Across the seven nets and down 4 from the opposition, the “temper tantrum” accused POTUS pulled in a 28.1/45 rating in the overnight metrics in the 9 – 9:15 PM ET time period.

That may be the very first time the usual afterthought of an opposition party response has beaten a sitting President’s address to the nation.

In the unadjusted fast affiliates, CBS snagged the most viewers for Trump’s speech with an audience of 8.04 million. NBC took the adults 18-49 demo number #1 spot with a 1.7 rating, just after the new season debut of Ellen’s Game of Games (1.5/6)

Perhaps giving a better sense of how America gets its news, the Pelosi and Schumer double act crushed Trump by 26% on CNN and 15% on MSNBC. Interestingly, the Trump speech from the White House and the Democrats’ response from the Capital building were perfectly matched on FNC, which will not be good news to that frequent viewer at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. On NBC and Fox proper, the two were even also. ABC saw the Dems beat Trump by 3% while on CBS, he beat the Nancy and Chuck show by the same measure.

Overall, with its double dose of Ellen and New Amsterdam (1.0/4), NBC won Tuesday’s primetime in the demo with a 1.4/6. Like in the Presidential address, CBS was in first place overall in terms of sets of eyeballs, with 7.86 million viewers for the night. We’ll update with more speech numbers as they come in later, stay tuned.

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