CNN talkin' big after debate

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NEW YORK -- Thursday night's Democratic presidential debate in Hollywood delivered blockbuster ratings for CNN. It was the highest-rated primary debate in cable TV history in a season full of records.

More than 8.3 million viewers tuned into the 90-minute debate, Nielsen Media Research said. The debate, held at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland, wasn't the showdown between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama that many thought it would be. But it also was the first time that voters could see Clinton and Obama one-on-one, with former Sen. John Edwards out of the race.

It also was a hot ticket in Hollywood, with stars clamoring for tickets that were mostly handed out by the California Democratic Party, with smaller numbers reserved for sponsors CNN, Politico.com and the Los Angeles Times. Among the stars who attended were Diane Keaton, Leonardo DiCaprio, Rob Reiner and Stevie Wonder.

The debate also had 1.2 million viewers 18-34 and 3 million viewers 18-49. It followed a CNN-sponsored GOP debate Wednesday night at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library that averaged 4 million viewers.
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