June 4, 2009 / 6:01 AM / 9 years ago

Obama-fueled NBC wins Tuesday ratings

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - NBC won Tuesday night’s ratings race with a varied range of programing that sparked conversation both on and off the air.

U.S. President Barack Obama boards Air Force One at Dulles International Airport in Virginia before departing to Saudi Arabia, June 2, 2009. REUTERS/Larry Downing

The network opened with its second episode of “I’m a Celebrity ... Get Me Out of Here!” (5.5 million viewers), falling 15 percent from Monday’s premiere. The reality competition’s story line made headlines as contestants Heidi and Spencer Pratt of MTV’s “The Hills” fame seemingly mulled whether to quit the show.

More viewers showed up for Part 1 of the NBC News special “Inside the Obama White House” at 9 p.m. Anchor Brian Williams had unprecedented access to capture a day in the life of the executive branch, and the special drew 9.2 million viewers, easily winning the hour.

At 10 p.m., NBC aired the 10th-season finale of “Law & Order: SVU” (11.6 million) — the evening’s highest-rated program but the drama’s lowest-rated finale to date.

In late-night, Conan O’Brien hosted his second episode of “The Tonight Show,” receiving a 5.0 household rating, down 30 percent from his Monday debut.

Still, Jay Leno’s average for the second quarter while hosting “Tonight” was a 3.9 rating, so O’Brien outperformed Leno’s recent average. O’Brien also handily beat CBS’ “Late Show With David Letterman” (3.0).

Will Ferrell’s visit to Discovery Channel’s “Man vs. Wild” on Tuesday drew 4 million viewers — the biggest audience in the survival-skills reality show’s history.

Editing by Sheri Linden at Reuters

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