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TV Column
Posted at 06:39 PM ET, 12/12/2011

ABC News GOP debate grabs highest debate ratings yet with 7.6 million viewers


Republican presidential candidates during the ABC News GOP Presidential debate. (Kevork Djansezian - GETTY IMAGES)
Just 24 days before the Iowa caucuses, nearly 7.6 million people sat up and took notice of ABC News’s GOP presidential debate Saturday night from 9 to 11 p.m. — the biggest audience yet for a GOP presidential debate of the 2012 campaign season.

“Your Voice, Your Vote” — starring Diane Sawyer and George Stephanopoulos, co-starring candidates Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum and Ron Paul — ranked as Saturday night’s most watched program.

There have been so many GOP presidential debates in the past few months, it’s actually got more aired episodes than “Playboy Club,” “Free Agents” or“How to Be a Gentleman.”

The latest “Your Voice, Your Vote” on ABC outperformed the ratings record-holder — Fox News Channel’s GOP presidential hopefuls sparring match of Sept. 22 — by about 1.47 million viewers.

FNC’s debate, which clocked about 6.11 million viewers, had held the record while three more debates came and went:

●A CNN debate on Oct. 18 (5.5 million)

●A CNBC debate on Nov. 9 (3.3 million

●A CBS debate on Nov. 12 (5.3 million)

“We’re just so excited people are tuning in for this election — paying attention to this election,” Diane Sawyer told The TV Column on Monday morning. “As we said, people really want to be informed for this choice. I think that’s what we’re seeing the viewership in all these debates.”

By  |  06:39 PM ET, 12/12/2011

 
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