Barack Obama

Some 26.1 million people watched President Barack Obama's prime-time State of the Union address, as the big four broadcast networks each devoted at least 90 minutes to their coverage.

The CW's decision to counterprogram with first-run episodes paid off, meanwhile. One Tree Hill got 1.9 million viewers at 8/7c, and Hellcats had nearly 2.2 million people watching it. In its new night and time, Hellcats had its biggest audience since Sept. 29. And the combination of the two shows lifted the CW to its most-watched Tuesday night of the season, according to Nielsen.

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In the hour before the president spoke, the other networks each went with reruns of their respective shows. NCIS  pulled in 13.2 million viewers for CBS, while The Biggest Loser: Couples drew 8.7 million on NBC. Fox's Glee was watched by 4.7 million viewers and 4.4 million tuned in for No Ordinary Family on ABC.

Following the president's speech at 10:30, NBC News continued with its coverage and got 5.2 million viewers , while reruns of CBS' The Big Bang Theory and ABC's Cougar Town attracted 5.1 million and 2.9 million viewers, respectively.

On basic cable at 10, MTV's Teen Mom 2 got a season-high 4 million viewers — 3 million of whom are 12-to-34 years old.