Nearly 50 mil tune in Obama


Even after his election and inauguration, Barack Obama still can draw a crowd in primetime.

Obama's first presidential news conference Monday night drew 49.5 million viewers, more than the season premiere of Fox's "American Idol." The total draws from broadcast and cable viewership across eight networks.

The news conference provided a solid lead-in for entertainment programming Monday, led by CBS trying out a new configuration for its comedies.

The net put "The Big Bang Theory" (12.7 million viewers, 4.5 rating/10 share in adults 18-49) after its top-rated "Two and a Half Men" (15 million, 4.8/11), earning series-high ratings for "Big Bang."

Second-place "The Bachelor" (11.6 million, 4.2/10) on ABC continued to perform well, setting another season high. (partialdiff)