On January 31st, President Donald Trump announced his nominee, Neil Gorsuch, for the vacant Supreme Court seat. Whilst the news was greeted with mix response, the timing of the press conference caused chaos in the Nielsen ratings for Tuesday night’s 8 o’clock hour.
Unlike the 2009 primetime news conference by President Barack Obama, which ran from 8pm to 9 pm, the address by President Donald Trump only lasted just 17 minutes. The announcement was a short, simple, reveal that Neil Gorsuch would head up Supreme Court.
Due to the short airing, TV ratings by Nielsen from 8pm-8.30 pm on four of the five national broadcasters should be taken with a pinch of salt, as the press conference is mixed in with those networks’ other programming.
In that 8 to 8:30 p.m. timeframe, NBC led in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demographic with a 1.2 rating and 5.78 million viewers overall; its coverage was followed by an already-in-progress repeat of reality series, ‘The Wall’ (oh, the irony). CBS nabbed the most total viewers, with 7.42 million, and a 1.0 rating in the demo; the conference joined a ‘2 Broke Girls’ repeat. ABC’s coverage was adjoined by a repeat of ‘The Middle’ and brought in a 0.9 in the demo and 4.69 million viewers. Fox’s coverage drew a 0.6 in the demo and 2.07 million viewers, joining an in-progress ‘New Girl’ repeat.
On The CW, which didn’t carry the press conference, ‘The Flash’ ticked up slightly to a 1.1 in the demo and 3.04 million viewers. ‘DC’s Legends of Tomorrow’ also rose to a 0.7 and 1.8 million viewers.
Cable coverage ratings for the President’s unveiling of his SCOTUS, which felt like a fitting tribute to his days as The Apprentice, will be available later on Wednesday.