Skip to main content

18 Million Watch GOP Debate on CNN

CNN’s Republican presidential debate, moderated by Wolf Blitzer, averaged 18 million total viewers, with 5.6 million in the 25-54 demo.

The debate—featuring Ted Cruz, Carly Fiorina, Marco Rubio and others, including, of course, Donald Trump—represented the second most watched program in CNN history. It trailed only a debate in September that gathered 23.1 million viewers.

The Dec. 15 event happened in Las Vegas. Streaming live on and the cable net’s mobile apps and connected TVs, the program tallied 3.1 million live streams.

According to CNN, seven of the top 10 presidential primary debates in terms of TV ratings have occurred in 2015, led by the Fox News GOP tussle in Cleveland in August, with nearly 24 million total viewers.

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.