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Biden inauguration tops Trump's in TV ratings

Biden inauguration tops Trump's in TV ratings
© AP/Pool

President Biden’s inauguration garnered more viewers than that of his predecessor, former President TrumpDonald TrumpProsecutors focus Trump Organization probe on company's financial officer: report WHO official says it's 'premature' to think pandemic will be over by end of year Romney released from hospital after fall over the weekend MORE, with nearly 40 million tuning in to see him sworn into office.

Citing Nielsen ratings, Variety reported on Thursday that 39.9 million people across six major TV news channels watched Biden be sworn into office. When Trump was sworn into office in 2017, 38.35 million people watched, 4 percent less than that of Biden’s inauguration numbers.

Variety reports that CNN took the largest share of viewers, attracting 9.9 million. However, as the magazine notes, those numbers are subject to change as Nielsen organizes the number of viewing sources used.

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Notable performers such as Lady Gaga and Jennifer Lopez also took part in the ceremony, with Gaga singing the national anthem and Lopez singing Woodie Guthrie's "This Land Is Your Land."

Amanda Gorman, the first National Youth Poet Laureate for the U.S., also received a great deal of praise and attention for her poem she recited at the inauguration, "The Hill We Climb." At 22 years old, she is the youngest inaugural poet in history.

CNN's inauguration numbers grew by nearly 200 percent from the 3.4 million who watched in 2017, Variety notes. In comparison, Fox News's inauguration viewership shrank by about 77 percent from when Trump was inaugurated.

Though the inauguration is always a major television event, it was even more so this year since fewer people were able to attend in-person due to the risk of the coronavirus pandemic.

Both the inaugural parade and ball were replaced with television specials this year to avoid large crowds.

Another special titled "Celebrating America" featured a wide array of A-list celebrities, including Bruce Springsteen, John Legend, Tom Hanks and Kerry Washington.

Katy Perry ended the inaugural celebration with a rendition of her hit song "Firework" as an actual fireworks show took place behind the Washington Monument.