Democrats a winner for ABC


ABC's broadcast of Wednesday's Democratic presidential debate was the most-watched of the 2008 presidential campaign.

The two-hour debate (10.7 million, 2.7 rating/7 share) won the 8 p.m. hour, then fell into third place overall for the second half. At 10 p.m., "Men in Trees" was on par (5.7 million, 1.5/4).

MyNetworkTV's "Under One Roof" (1.2 million, 0.5/2) got off to a slow start at 8 p.m. The sitcom starring Flavor Flav was off slightly compared with the time period a week earlier, when a Harlem Globetrotters special (1.7 million, 0.6/2) repeated.

Fox won the night thanks to "American Idol," which matched its lowest rating in five years (23.3 million, 8.8/22). At 8 p.m., the comedies " 'Til Death" (5.9 million, 2.0/6) and "Back to You" (7.1 million, 2.5/7) returned to originals, with "Back" up 14% from its previous season average and "Death" down 9%.

CBS was second with "Big Brother" (6.1 million, 2.3/7), "Criminal Minds" (13 million, 3.5/9) and "CSI: NY" (13.4 million, 3.9/10). NBC came in fourth with an episode of "Deal or No Deal" (9.7 million, 2.6/8) and repeats. The CW aired "America's Next Top Model" (3.9 million, 1.9/6) and "Pussycat Dolls Present: Girlicious" (1.9 million, 0.9/2).

Kimberly Nordyke contributed to this report.