Shut out of the 2008 Democratic Party presidential primaries, Fox News soared on Thursday night picking up an audience of 10 million people, according to CNN. That is triple Bill O'Reilly's or Megyn Kelly's numbers on a good night.
To put the number in perspective, the top rated cable show last week, "The Descendants," drew 6 million viewers.
Fox had high expectations for Thursday's kick-off to debate season. Rival executives and campaign aides also predicted unusually high ratings for the event, thanks to curiosity about Trump and the controversy over the "top ten" candidate criteria.
But the overnight numbers seemed to surpass everyone's expectations.
There was speculation on Friday morning that it may go down in the record books as the highest-rated Fox News telecast ever.
On Thursday night there was immediate indication of the audience's interest: the debate dominated social chatter on Twitter and Facebook.CNN and CNBC get the next two debates.
Imagine how executives at MSNBC feel right now. They are shut out of the Republican debates and the Democratic Party debates as well. Turns out people like debates instead of watching talking heads prattle on and on. Who knew?