NEW YORK (Hollywood Reporter) - Thursday night’s Democratic presidential debate in Hollywood delivered blockbuster ratings for CNN. It was the highest-rated primary debate in cable TV history.
More than 8.3 million viewers tuned in to the 90-minute debate, Nielsen Media Research said. The debate, which took place at the Kodak Theatre in the Hollywood & Highland complex, wasn’t the adversarial showdown between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama that many thought it would be. But with John Edwards out of the race, it was the first time that voters could see Clinton and Obama one-on-one.
It also was a hot ticket in Hollywood, with stars clamoring for tickets that were mostly handed out by the California Democratic Party, with smaller numbers reserved for sponsors CNN, Politico.com and the Los Angeles Times. Among the stars who attended were Diane Keaton, Leonardo DiCaprio, Rob Reiner and Stevie Wonder.
The debate drew 1.2 million viewers in the age 18-34 demographic and 3 million viewers 18-49. It followed by one night a CNN-sponsored GOP debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library that averaged 4 million viewers.