As previously reported, 31.6% of all television households nationwide tuned in for John McCain and Barack Obama's first presidential debate.
A closer look at the minute-by-minute TV ratings, released Wednesday by Nielsen, reveals few peaks or drop-offs in household viewing during Friday's debate.
According to Nielsen's analysis, after an early ramp-up in the debate's first five minutes, the percentage of households watching the debate held steady throughout the remainder of the telecast.
The percentage of TV households watching the McCain-Obama debate peaked at 32.9% at 9:38pm EST Friday night.
Debate viewing dropped off significantly after the debate ended at approximately 10:30pm EST.