Primetime Ratings: NBC Draws Most For Obama Address

Preliminary Nielsen Fast Affilliate ratings say 33.5 million watched address on broadcast nets.

Boosted by an American Idol free primetime lineup, NBC pulled off a rare primetime win Tuesday during a night short on programming with President Obama's address to the joint Houses of Congress. That is according to preliminary Nielsen Fast Affiliates data. More detailed and accurate information will be released later Wednesday.

NBC drew the highest ratings in the 18-49 demo during the hour of the President's address from 9-10 p.m., though CBS earned the highest household ratings and total viewers for the hour. Combined, the networks drew a 9.8/24 demo rating for the address, with 33.5 million viewers, though that number will likely change when the final ratings come in.

During the President's speech to Congress, NBC drew a 3.3/8, and was second in total viewers with 10.1 million. ABC was second in ratings with a 2.4/6 and CBS was just behind that at 2.3/6, though they did finish first in total viewers with a 10.5 million average for the hour. Fox drew a 1.8/4, the lowest rating of the four networks covering the address. The CW counterprogrammed with Privileged and drew a 0.8/2.

At 10 p.m. ABC, NBC, and CBS all aired the Republican response to President Obama's address, deliver by Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal. Again NBC was tops for the hour, delivering a 2.3/6 with 7.3 million total viewers. ABC was second at 2.1/6 and CBS was third with a 1.6/4.

CBS pulled out a win over NBC in the opening hour of primetime at 8 p.m. with a strong showing for NCIS at 3.7/10. The show drew 17.9 million viewers, tops of any primetime programming on the night. In second place was NBC's Biggest Loser: Couples, which pulled a 3.5/10. ABC was third at 1.9/5 for Homeland Security. Fox delayed American Idol by a day for Obama's address, instead airing a rerun of Bones at 8 p.m. Bones drew a 1.7/5 for the network, placing it fourth for the hour. The CW was fifth at 0.6/2, programming a re-run of 90210.

Overall on the night NBC scored a 3.0/8 for first place. CBS was second at 2.5/7 but first in total viewers with 11.8 million. ABC was third at 2.1/6 and Fox finished fourth with a 1.7/5. The CW was fifth at 0.7/2.