Matt Lauer’s Primetime George W. Bush Interview Places NBC Fourth in Timeslot

By Alex Weprin Comment

Last night’s NBC primetime interview with former President George W. Bush failed to light up the ratings charts, according to Fast Nationals from Nielsen. Final ratings will be available later today, but the early numbers indicate that the special finished fourth in its time period.

The special edition of “Matt Lauer Reports” drew approximately 7 million total viewers, with a 1.7 rating/ 4 share in the adults 18-49 demo and a  2.2 rating/ 5 share in the adults 25-54 demo.

The interview was the second high profile Presidential exclusive in as many days.

On Sunday, CBS aired an interview with President Barack Obama on “60 Minutes.”

“60 Minutes” drew an average of 15.2 million viewers in its hour, though it had the benefit of airing on a popular TV day, with the NFL as a lead-in.

On Monday, during the 8-9 PM time period where the Bush interview aired,  ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” won the hour with nearly 19 million viewers, while new editions of CBS comedies drew 8.8 million viewers and “House” on Fox drew 9.6 million viewers.

The Bush interview also drew lower demo numbers than the program that normally airs in that time period on NBC, “Chuck.”

Still, the numbers for the special are better than a typical edition of “Today,” which averages over 5 million viewers, though it was lower than a typical edition of “NBC Nightly News,” which averages over 7.7 million viewers.

The NBC special, which aired from 8-9 PM, featured “Today” anchor Matt Lauer interviewing the former President at his ranch in Texas. Bush will appear on “Today” for a live interview tomorrow morning.


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