ABC/Obama Healthcare Special Not so Special in Ratings Game

-By Warner Todd Huston

For those of you that are curious, Obama’s super special, ultra spectacular healthcare infomercial was a dud in the ratings last Wednesday night.

ABC’s Brarackspactacular Healthcare Extravaganza (I think that was the official name of the show, wasn’t it?) went up against the NBC premiere of “The Philanthropist,” widely panned as disappointing, and a repeat of “CSI: NY” on CBS, widely seen as already once widely seen. Unfortunately for ABC, its prop”O”ganda special got a dismal 1.2 rating to the 2.0 and 1.8 ratings respectively for the entertainment competition.

Apparently the TV show where he’s president but plays a doctor on TV didn’t go over well. The “Super-dooper, Obamalicious, Doctor Spock medicine woman show” was only able to cajole 4.703 million viewers into watching while NBC picked up 7.414 and CBS got 7.393 in the ten O’Clock hour. Remembering that we have 300 million citizens and healthcare is supposed to be the biggest emergency in history, well, that is a paltry number of viewers that Doc Barack got.

Earlier in the day, during the 8PM hour, ABC itself got 7.715 million viewers for “I’m a Celebrity… Get me Out of Here!” Sadly, ABC’s 10PM sequel show guest starring the president, “I’m a Sellout… Get me Some Knee Pads,” wasn’t so well received.

Imagine: nearly double the amount of people that watched the healthcare special would rather have watched a repeat of “CSI:NY.”

Ouch. I think OJ got more viewers for his slow motion police chase in the White Bronco.

Meanwhile, that same hour, the Cable newsers seem to have kept their regular audiences:

10 PM P2+ (25-54) (35-64)
On the Record with Greta—1,655,000 viewers (472,000) (740,000)
Anderson Cooper 360—1,016,000 viewers (271,000) (421,000)
Countdown with K. Olbermann—749,000 viewers (275,000) (364,000)
Nancy Grace –587,000 viewers (231,000) (324,000)

These numbers are not appreciably different than normal, really. One might think that people so into the news that they regularly watch any particular cable news show would switch over to see “President McDreamy: MD,” but it doesn’t look like too many loyal cable watchers were much interested.

But, not to worry, folks. ABC won’t let anything as silly as ratings or disinterest from its viewers deter it from giving The One as much air time as he desires. I am pretty sure that Obama is working up a nice ventriloquist act with a dummy that looks just like Joe Biden for next week’s episode. And Michelle and the girls have a great dance number they are working up. I hear Rahm Emanuel has a flashy baton and tap dance routine he used to do in college to show us, as well — though friends are trying to get him to ditch the sequined leotards.

Sadly, I hear through the grapevine that Obama Press Secretary Robert Gibbs had his stand up routine axed from the show. Apparently Obama said that Gibbs gets enough TV time doing his standup elsewhere and cut the poor guy. No respect, ya know? Tattlers also tell us that Nancy Pelosi was told that her gothic horror retrospective was not going to fly. Even ABC has some limits.

Anyway, who needs ratings when we have all of this going for us? I for one will be glued to my TV set for the next episode of “ABC’s Sellout Theater” starring Barack Obama as George Clooney.

**I make no claim that my sources for upcoming Barackspactaculars are accurate.**

Correction: I’m a Celebrity, etc., etc. is on NBC, not ABC. I misread the ratings sheet.

Warner Todd Huston is a Chicago based freelance writer, has been writing opinion editorials and social criticism since early 2001 and is featured on many websites such as,, Human Events Magazine,,, New Media Journal, Men’s News Daily and the New Media Alliance among many, many others. Additionally, he has been a frequent guest on talk-radio programs to discuss his opinion editorials and current events and is currently the co-host of “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Conservatism” heard on BlogTalkRadio. He has also written for several history magazines and appears in the new book “Americans on Politics, Policy and Pop Culture” which can be purchased on He is also the owner and operator of Feel free to contact him with any comments or questions : EMAIL Warner Todd Huston

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