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The hourlong program, featuring Harris answering questions from a studio audience, drew nearly 2 million viewers — 75 percent above CNN’s four-week average in the 10 o’clock hour. The news channel says the audience of 1.95 million was the largest for a single-candidate town hall in CNN history.
Harris’ appearance, a week after she announced she’ll run for president in the 2020 Democratic primary, also carried CNN to the top spot in the key news demographic of adults 25-54. The town hall averaged 712,000 viewers in the demo, well ahead of its cable-news competition on MSNBC (404,000) and Fox News (395,000). CNN also led primetime and the total day in the 25-54 demo thanks in part to the town hall.
MSNBC’s Last Word With Lawrence O’Donnell (2.35 million) and Fox News’ The Ingraham Angle (2.26 million) did outdraw Harris overall.
Lead-out CNN Tonight With Don Lemon also got a bump, leading the 25-54 demo with 422,000 viewers and averaging 1.22 million overall, a 29 percent improvement over the previous week’s average.
The town hall also drew a much larger audience of younger viewers to CNN than usual. It averaged 186,000 adults under 35, more than three times CNN’s four-week average of 50,000 in the hour.
Harris’ appearance also drove a big day for CNN’s digital platforms. The network says it ranked third among all town hall days in stats including pageviews, unique visitors and video starts.