ABC’s “The Great American Eclipse” brought in the most viewers of any network, cable or broadcast, during the network’s coverage of the first total solar eclipse in 38 years on Monday, August 21. The program, which aired from 1:00-3:00 p.m. EDT, was hosted by “World News Tonight” anchor David Muir and brought in 7.9 million viewers with about 2.1 million in the Adults 25-54 demo, more than tripling the average of what all-new episodes of “The Chew” and “General Hospital” would have attracted in the time period. The network aired re-runs of the two in the mountain and pacific time zones.
In second place, CBS averaged 6 million viewers and 1.6 million in Adults 25-54 with its program “CBS News Special Report: ‘Solar Eclipse 08.21.17.'” Ratings for “The Bold and the Beautiful” were not available at press time. The soap aired in place of an original episode of “The Young and the Restless,” which aired a repeat in the mountain and pacific time zones along with “The Talk.”
NBC, however, suffered. The network chose to break its eclipse coverage into two-parts instead of carrying a full two hours of programming dedicated to the eclipse like its broadcast counterparts. As a result, only 2.6 million viewers tuned into the network’s coverage with just 778,000 falling into the Adults 25-54 sales demo. In parts of the country “Days of our Lives” airs at noon.
The averages for the day were as follows (per TVNewser):
Total Viewers / Adults 25-54
- ABC: 7,900,000 / 2,079,000
- CBS: 5,963,000 / 1,567,000
- NBC: 2,586,000 / 778,000
- Fox News (Shepard Smith Reporting): 2,126,000 / 468,000
- Univision: 1,780,000 / 824,000
- CNN (Wolf/CNN Newsroom): 1,704,000 / 567,000
- The Weather Channel: 1,676,000 / 459,000
- Telemundo: 574,000 / 247,000
- HLN (On the Story With Erica Hill): 146,000 / 53,000