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September 26, 2008

Debate expectations

Debate >> Ratings expectations are high for tonight's debate. The most-watched presidential debate was the first Reagan-Carter round in 1980, which drew a Super Bowl-level 80.6 million viewers. The first Kerry-Bush debate in 2004 drew 62.5 million. As the story points out, debate audiences have declined over the past two decades, but with John McCain and Barack Obama's speech ratings through the roof, the fact this debate is on a Friday probably will not slow it down.

>> THR's Paul J. Gough reports that debate ratings expectations from experts are all over the place, ranging from 40 million-100 million viewers. The household meter market overnights come out tomorrow, but we won't know the firm viewership numbers until Monday. 

>> Also: Gough and THR editor Elizabeth Guider are blogging the debate ...

>> Candidates jockey over performance expectations ...

>> CBS News is reportedly annoyed at David Letterman for hijacking their video feed of Katie Couric's McCain interview. Let's see, Letterman managed to catch McCain in a lie and drew huge headlines without even interviewing him, while Couric has down what now? (Oh, yes, that's right, this -- a Palin moose-in-the-headlights moment of comedy that rivals late night.)

(Getty Images photo)


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