Bush/Kerry Debate Draws 62.5 Million Viewers


With an estimated 62.5 million viewers, the first Bush-Kerry debate was a television hit and provided evidence of the intense interest in the presidential campaign.

The viewership was up 34 percent from the 46.6 million people who watched the first debate between George W. Bush and Al Gore in 2000, according to Nielsen Media Research. That 2000 debate also had competition from a baseball playoff game.

NBC, with 17.2 million viewers, topped the seven networks that aired the 90-minute debate, Nielsen said.

During the debate, television cameras ignored Bush and Kerry campaign wishes that they not air reaction shots — and President Bush’s occasionally peeved expression showed why they didn’t.

Cameras caught the president occasionally showing irritation during some of Sen. John Kerry’s responses. Kerry, for the most part, maintained a stoic expression and jotted notes.

The entire article can be read here.

Credit: MSN Entertainment/AP

Murtz Jaffer is the world's foremost reality television expert and was the host of Reality Obsessed which aired on the TVTropolis and Global Reality Channels in Canada. He has professional writing experience at the Toronto Sun, National Post, TV Guide Canada, TOROMagazine.com and was a former producer at Entertainment Tonight Canada. He was also the editor at Weekendtrips.com.