Nielsen figures released Friday show an estimated 19.5 million television viewers tuned in to watch fired Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey deliver testimony to the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee. About 3.104 million viewers watched Fox News' coverage of Thursday's hearing to CNN's 3.059 million and MSNBC's 2.737 million, according to its data.
CNN drew more than 1 million adults 25-54 to top all cable and broadcast networks, according to Nielsen.More news: Isner down one set in suspended French Open tennis match
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During his appearance, Comey said he believed the president dismissed him in May to try to undermine a Federal Bureau of Investigation probe into possible collusion between Trump's 2016 presidential campaign team and Russian Federation. Ratings for viewers who watched the proceedings online are also expected soon.
The major outlets divided Thursday's audience up fairly evenly, with leader ABC's 3.295 million viewers followed closely by CBS with 3.286 million. Bars in Washington opened early to show the drama and people across the country ditched work to monitor Mr Comey's first public appearance since he was dismissed by Mr Trump on May 9. While the inauguration of President Donald Trump in January attracted some 30.6 million viewers, the audience recorded by Komei's hearing is very good for a one-day broadcast.