President Barack Obama's prime-time speech about his strategy for the war in Afghanistan attracted more eyeballs than his recent address about heath care.
Obama's speech was watched by 40.8 million viewers, an uptick of 27 percent from his health-care address in September and a 65 percent increase from his press conference in July. The president's biggest prime-time ratings came during his February address to a joint session of Congress, which drew 52.4 million viewers.
Among the cable news outlets, some 4,5 million viewers tuned into Fox News Channel to watch the president, while 2.3 million saw him on CNN and 1.6 million on MSNBC.
The Obama address reshuffled much of the night's entertainment programming. CBS was the most-watched network, led by repeats of Two and a Half Men (13.5 million viewers) and NCIS (11.8 million) and the annual Victoria's Secret Fashion Show (8 million).
NBC, however, took the night's top spot in the 18-to-49 demographic, with Part 1 of its Biggest Loser season finale (10 million viewers). A two-hour So You Think You Can Dance pulled in 5.8 million viewers for Fox, while the CW's 90210 (2.2 million) and Melrose Place (1.4 million) held steady.
On ABC, a two-episode combo of the revamped Scrubs averaged 4.5 million viewers, losing a million viewers from its lead-in, a Modern Family repeat and down 33 percent from the show's Season 8 premiere last January. The Forgotten (5.4 million viewers) was down 33 percent from its last new episode on Nov. 17.