Power Event: Daytime and Late-Night Election Coverage by the Numbers

Ileane Rudolph
Saturday Night Live/Donald Tump
Dana Edelson/NBC

For TV Guide Magazine's first-ever Power Issue, the staff looked at the juggernauts dominating TV, from events to franchises to actors, producers, and other multihyphenates in show business. Here, we take a look at TV's latest Power Event. Plus: See why The Simpsons is the most powerful TV show ever.


The fall’s most sought-after celebrity guests are named Trump, Clinton and Carson. As presidential candidates on both sides of the aisle work the campaign trail, they’re goosing ratings on daytime and late-night shows. “Politics has always been an important part of who we are,” says The View’s consulting producer Candi Carter. “It’s a long race.  Everyone is on our wish list!”

9.3 million viewers watched Donald Trump host Saturday Night Live

Trump predicted that his November 7 hosting gig would go “through the roof,” and it did, earning the NBC sketch show its biggest audience since December 21, 2013. Winning the silver: Hillary Clinton, whose appearance in the October 3 season premiere drew 6.3 million viewers, up 12 percent from last year’s opener.

24 million viewers who watched the August 6 GOP debate on Fox News Channel, the network’s largest audience ever

That wasn’t the only record breaker:

  • 23.1 million people watched the September 16 Republican debate on CNN, the network’s biggest rating ever. CNN also drew 15.3 million viewers for the Democratic primary debate on October 13, its highest ever for that party.
  • 14 million people watched CNBC’s GOP debate on October 28, the most-watched program in the network’s history.
  • Fox Business Network drew 13.5 million viewers for the November 10 GOP debate, a network record.
  • For perspective, the most-watched primary debate four years ago, broadcast by ABC, reached 7.6 million viewers.
GOP Presidential Candidates Debate In Milwaukee

Scott Olson/GettyImages

The GOP presidential candidates in Milwaukee

3.1 million viewers tuned in for Hillary Clinton’s visit to Jimmy Kimmel Live!

A chat with Clinton on November 5 (left) helped boost ABC’s late-night show to No. 2 for the week. Her September 16 chat with Jimmy Fallon led The Tonight Show to beat Late Show and Jimmy Kimmel Live! by wider margins than usual.

RELATED: The Best Tonight Show Moments With Hillary Clinton

9 candidates have appeared on The View

Trump, John Kasich, Lindsey Graham, Rick Santorum, Ben Carson, Martin O’Malley, Bernie Sanders, Mike Huckabee and Carly Fiorina have all chatted with the ladies this season. The shows featuring candidates averaged 2.6 million viewers; those without, 2.4 million.

RELATED: Why Joy Behar Decided to Return to The View

The View - MICHELLE COLLINS, JOY BEHAR, BERNIE SANDERS, RAVEN-SYMONE´

Lou Rocco/ABC

Bernie Sanders on the October 26, 2015 episode of The View