ABC, CBS, NBC preempt regular programming for second night of election coverage

ABC, CBS, NBC preempt regular programming for second night of election coverage
© Getty Images

The major broadcast networks preempted regularly scheduled prime-time programming for a second night on Wednesday in favor of coverage of the still-undecided presidential election.

Lester Holt anchored four hours of NBC News coverage from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. ET, while ABC News chief anchor George StephanopoulosGeorge Robert StephanopoulosSullivan: Comments by North Korea's Kim an 'interesting signal' Facebook VP says 2-year suspension of Trump from platform 'justified' Commerce secretary on cyberattacks against corporations: 'This is the reality' MORE anchored one hour of coverage from 10 p.m. to 11 p.m. ET. CBS News also preempted programming in the 10 p.m. ET time slot for coverage led by "CBS Evening News" anchor Norah O'Donnell.

The scheduling decisions come as cable news networks outperformed their broadcast counterparts on election night.

ADVERTISEMENT

Fox News was the most-watched network for Tuesday's election night coverage, averaging 13.63 million total viewers in prime time for what proved to be a drama-filled and anxiety-provoking evening.

CNN came in second  with 9.1 million total viewers, followed by MSNBC's 7.31 million, ABC's 6.1 million, NBC's 5.63 million, CBS's 4.34 million and Fox Broadcasting Company's 3.28 million.

In the demographic of viewers between the ages of 18 to 49 which advertisers cater to, Fox News averaged 4.9 million viewers, followed by CNN's 4.44 million and NBC's 2.5 million. MSNBC was fourth in the category with 2.4 million, followed by ABC's 2.3 million, CBS's 1.66 million and Fox Broadcasting's 1.6 million.

Democratic nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden authorizes up to 0M for Afghan refugees Poll: 73 percent of Democratic voters would consider voting for Biden in the 2024 primary Biden flexes presidential muscle on campaign trail with Virginia's McAuliffe MORE currently leads President TrumpDonald TrumpPoll: 73 percent of Democratic voters would consider voting for Biden in the 2024 primary Biden flexes presidential muscle on campaign trail with Virginia's McAuliffe Has Trump beaten the system? MORE in electoral votes, with multiple paths open for the former vice president to become the nation's 46th president.

Most polls showed the former vice president well ahead of the president going into Election Day, with surveys also showing Democrats taking control of the Senate and expanding their majority in the House.

The GOP will likely maintain their control of the Senate, however, while also picking up several seats in the House unexpectedly.