Fast National ratings for Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2009.
President Barack Obama’s statement to the join houses of Congress interrupted Tuesday primetime for as long as 90 minutes in much of the country, dramatically skewing the night’s ratings race.
This is what happens when “American Idol” doesn’t air on a Tuesday.
NBC actually won the 18-49 demographic, doing a 3.0 rating, bettering the 2.5 rating for CBS and ABC’s 2.1 rating. FOX was fourth with a 1.7 rating and The CW’s 0.7 rating trailed.
Overall, though, CBS averaged an estimated 11.8 million viewers and a 7.4/12 to win the night comfortably. NBC was second with a 5.6/9. ABC’s 4.6/7 was fourth and FOX’s 3.0/5 was good for fifth. The CW trailed with a 1.0/2.
CBS started the night in front with an 11.0/17 for “NCIS.” NBC’s “Biggest Losers: Couples” was second with a 6.0/9. ABC’s “Homeland Security, USA” had a 3.9/6, while FOX’s “Bones” and The CW’s “90210” repeat brought up the rear.
President Obama’s speech began in the 9 p.m. hour and CBS still attracted the most eyes with a 6.6/10. NBC was second with a 6.2/9. ABC followed closely. FOX’s broadcast of the speech was fourth with a 2.9/4. The CW aired the finale of “Privileged” and drew a 1.1/2 as counterprogramming.
[Please note, of course, that all of these numbers will change in the finally figures.]
At 10 p.m., NBC’s Obama coverage plus “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” and CBS’ Obama coverage plus “Two and a Half Men” tied for first with a 4.7/8. ABC’s coverage plus “What Would You Do?” was a close third.
All ratings information comes from preliminary Fast National Nielsen data, which includes live and same-day DVR viewing. All numbers are subject to change, particularly in the case of live events.