TV Ratings: Obama's Farewell Address Pulls 34 Million Viewers

NBC wins the night with the exiting president and the return of 'This Is Us.'
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President Barack Obama

Ahead of Wednesday morning's contentious presser with president-elect/Apprentice producer Donald Trump, President Barack Obama blanketed the airwaves with one final address as Commander in Chief on Tuesday night.

Live coverage of President Obama's Chicago speech brought in 34 million viewers across the Big Four broadcast networks and the three main cable news networks. An especially strong showing, it does not yet include PBS or the likely generous amount of streaming views that the one-hour speech has received.

Tuesday served NBC well on either side of its dominant President Obama coverage. The network led all with nearly 9 million viewers choosing it. Reality competition The Wall held its strong 1.7 rating among adults 18-49 during its second showing in its official time slot. And, at 10 p.m., This Is Us looks like it logged a new series high. Early returns have it averaging a 3.0 rating among adults 18-49 and 10.5 million viewers, easily the night's top non-Obama showing in the key demo.

ABC's offerings on either side of President Obama also were steady. The Middle (1.7 adults), American Housewife (1.5 adults) and Agents of SHIELD (0.8 adults) all held with recent episodes.

On Fox, a steady New Girl was followed by a slightly diminished episode of The Mick. Both of them averaged a 1.1 rating among adults 18-49, though the latter did again build on its lead-in, adding roughly 400,000 viewers to the half-hour with a total 3 million viewers.

CBS and The CW offered repeats, though the latter did drop in an original No Tomorrow (0.2 adults).