DemDaily: Tonight’s Debate: Watching History

September 26, 2016

Tonight's Presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump is expected to draw one of the largest television audiences in history, with a projected 80-100 million viewers.

2015 Seahawks vs Patriots

While debates traditionally produce a sizable viewership, numbers above the 80 million mark are generally associated with sporting events.

The 1993 Final Cheers Episode

Eighteen of the twenty most viewed events in American television history are all Super Bowls; with Super Bowl XLIX topping the list at a total of 115.2 million.

The two exceptions go to the 1983 Finale of M*A*S*H which holds the eighth spot @105.9 million and the 1993 Finale of Cheers is twentieth, with 84.4 million.

The first televised presidential debate was between John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon in 1960.

Kennedy v Nixon 1960 (Click)

First prize in debate viewership goes to the October 2, 1980 debate between Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan, with 80.6 million viewers, followed by a overall decline through the years. 59.2 million tuned in for the final 2012 Barack Obama and Mitt Romney face-off.

2012 Obama vs Romney

Clinton and Trump both participated in the town hall-style September 7th "Commander in Chief Forum," but this is the first time the two party nominees will go head-to-head.

Tonight's debate, which begins at 9:00pm Eastern, will be moderated by NBC's Lester Holt and will consist of six 15-minute segments over 90 minutes. Holt will begin each segment with a question and both candidates will have exactly two minutes to answer, followed by an opportunity to respond to each other's comments. There will be no commercial breaks.

The themes selected by Holt for tonight, and approved by the non-partisan Commission on Presidential Debates, are "achieving prosperity," "securing America" and "America's direction."

For your convenience, the schedule. Up next - The VP Debate next Tuesday!

SEPTEMBER 26, 2016 Presidential Debate
WhenMonday, September 26, 2016
Time9:00pm - 10:30pm
WhereHofstra University in Hempstead, New York
CandidatesHillary Clinton (D) and Donald Trump (R)
NetworksABC, NBC, Fox, CBS, MSNBC, Fox News, Fox Business, CNN, Univision (Spanish), Telemundo (Spanish), and C-SPAN will all have full coverage.
ModeratorLester Holt, NBC
Live StreamingABC News App, CBS News App, Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, CNN Go
FormatDebate Format: Six 15-minute segments w/questions from the Moderator

OCTOBER 4, 2016 Vice Presidential Debate

WhenTuesday, October 4, 2016
Time9:00pm - 10:30pm
WhereLongwood University in Farmville, Virginia
CandidatesSenator Tim Kaine (D) and Governor Mike Pence (R)
ModeratorElaine Quijano, CBS News
FormatDebate Format: Nine 10-minute segments w/questions from the Moderator
OCTOBER 9, 2016 Presidential Debate
Sunday, October 9, 2016
9:00pm - 10:30pm
Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri
Hillary Clinton (D) and Donald Trump (R)
Martha Raddatz, ABC & Anderson Cooper, CNN
Debate Format: Half of the questions will come from participants and the others from the Moderator.

OCTOBER 19, 2016 Presidential Debate
WhenWednesday, October 19, 2016
Time9:00pm - 10:30pm
WhereUniversity of Nevada, Las Vegas, Nevada
CandidatesHillary Clinton (D) and Donald Trump (R)
ModeratorChris Wallace, FOX News
FormatDebate Format: Six 15-minute segments segments w/questions from the Moderator


Check the DemList Calendar for further details.

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