Last night's election coverage had it all: Holograms! Crying Oprah! A Michelle Obama dress we weren't too crazy about, but we think we like it better today? Anyway, the point is that there was something for almost everybody, and to judge from the new, complete ratings (with all cable networks added in), almost everybody tuned in:
Barack Obama's historic presidential election victory was viewed by an equally historic number of viewers: 71,474,000 watched coverage across 14 networks Tuesday evening, according to Nielsen. Despite networks calling the presidency for Obama relatively early in the evening, his win over John McCain was seen by more viewers than 2000's nail-biting election coverage (61.6 million) where George Bush edged out Al Gore following a long night of switchbacks. It's also up compared to the 2004 election between Bush and John Kerry (59.2 million).
CNN's coverage virtually beat out the top-ranked ABC, while CBS had to suffer the ignominy of trailing both that cable channel and Fox News. Still, the combined ratings this year couldn't quite hit Super Bowl status. Next time, Michelle: wardrobe malfunction! In that dress, no one will mind.