Senator Joe Biden and Governor Sarah Palin by Jim Young/REUTERS Senator Joe Biden and Governor Sarah Palin by Jim Young/REUTERS

Once all of the numbers are in for both broadcast and cable, Thursday's vice-presidential debate between Palin and Biden is expected to have drawn more than 70 million total viewers, making it the most-watched debate of any kind in 16 years and the second most-watched of all time (trailing only Reagan v. Carter, 1980). For comparison, 52.4 mil checked out the McCain-Obama face-off last week - and they're the guys who'd actually be running the place, not attending ribbon-cuttings.

Among regular programming, CBS' Survivor: Gabon was Thursday's most-watched show, delivering 12.85 million viewers. Placing second during the 8 o'clock hour was Ugly Betty (8.58 mil), down 12 percent from its season premiere.

Back-to-back Earls did seven mil (up 600K week-to-week), while Smallville (3.95 mil) slipped just a hair.

At 9 pm, a superb Supernatural (3. 57 mil) gained 310 thou. - Matt Mitovich