Colin Powell boosts 'Meet the Press' ratings

Highest total viewers since 2004

NEW YORK -- Colin Powell's endorsement of Barack Obama on "Meet the Press" gave the Sunday chatfest its best ratings for a political interview since 2004.

"Meet the Press" averaged 6 million viewers for its Sunday morning airing, Nielsen Media Research said Thursday. It was the best the show has done since Feb. 8, 2004, when then-host Tim Russert interviewed President George W. Bush.

It also took a bite out of the other Sunday shows, including ABC's "This Week" (3.4 million), CBS's "Face the Nation" (2.9 million) and Fox News Sunday (1.5 million). "Meet the Press" has been number one for all but two of the past 371 weeks. And MSNBC repeats of "Meet the Press" averaged 2.2 million viewers over the weekend.

On the program, Powell came out in support of Obama. That interview with moderator Tom Brokaw was viewed 1.3 million online as well on MSNBC.com, NBC News said.
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