Date: 19th October 2000
Thanks to a Who Wants to Be a Millionaire lead-in, ABC's coverage of the third and final Bush-Gore debate drew a bigger audience than CBS's or NBC's, according to Nielsen Research. About 41 million tuned in to either ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, Fox News Channel and MSNBC, the ratings service said. C-SPAN also carried the debate, but it was not included in the total.
The debate pulled a 10.1 rating and a 15 share on ABC, a 7.6/11 on CBS and a 3.8/6 on NBC. (Because most NBC stations carried the final American League championship game between the New York Yankees and the Seattle Mariners, the network's ratings for the debate were considerably diminished.)
The debate drew the third-smallest audience for a presidential debate ever recorded. Meanwhile, Fox, which delayed the debate, did not draw big numbers for its new James Cameron drama Dark Angel as it had when the show competed with the first debate. Ratings dropped to an 8.7/13 vs an 11.2/17 on Oct. 3. Also showing a big audience drop Tuesday was the new Geena Davis Show on ABC, which slid to a 9.2/14 from an 11.7/18 a week earlier.
Source: Studio Briefing