The ratings confirm what everyone already knew: The O.J. Simpson verdict swept up a huge TV audience.
The live telecast of the jury’s acquittal got a 42.9 rating, according to Nielsen Media Research figures released Wednesday. That means 42.9 percent of the nation’s TV homes - a total of about 41 million - were tuned to Judge Lance Ito’s courtroom on Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. PDT.
The audience share was a spectacular 91 percent. That is, 91 percent of TVs in use at that time were tuned to the proceedings.
The most-viewed news events are coverage of the first moon landing and the events following President Kennedy’s death, both of which received a 90 rating, said David Poltrack, CBS vice president for research.