Numbers for the final presidential debate on Wednesday night show thus far are neck and neck with the second debate.
Across 11 networks, the third showdown between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump drew 68.8 million viewers, not quite surpassing the 69 million viewers that tuned in for the second debate on Oct. 9. However, PBS's viewership has yet to be accounted for, and that number could push the third debate past the second in terms of total viewership.
The Big Four broadcast networks' coverage pulled a total 38.1 million viewers. Among the individual networks, ABC led with 11 million of those viewers, followed by NBC (10.4 million), CBS (10.1 million) and Fox (6.6 million). Univision and Telemundo followed with 2.4 million and 1.5 million, respectively, to add another 3.9 million.
Fox News, whose own Chris Wallace moderated Wednesday's debate, topped all networks with 11.3 million viewers. CNN followed with 8.7 million, while MSNBC pulled 5.5 million. (Fox Business Network added 714,000, and CNBC drew an additional 559,000).
In comparison to the third debate, which pulled a 39.7 overnight rating, the second debate, which came just days after the release of the infamous Access Hollywood tape, pulled in a 37.2 overnight six networks. (NBC was showing Sunday Night Football during the second debate.) The first debate pulled in total audiences of 84.4 million.
It's worth noting that last night's showdown was also the first presidential debate this year that didn't face TV competition from the NFL, with the last two airing on Monday and Sunday. It also brought back typical leader NBC News, which bowed out of airing the second debate on account of its Sunday Night Football contract.
Neither of the last two presidential elections reached any ratings highs in their third debates - though all remained incredibly competitive. The final meeting between President Obama and Mitt Romney in 2012 averaged 59.2 million viewers, a stronger performance than one four years earlier when Obama and John McCain closed out their three-debate series at 56.5 million viewers.
Leading up to Wednesday night, the 2016 debate cycle was still handily outperforming both of the last two presidential debate series - and, well, all previous debates. The record-setting opener, which averaged 84.4 million viewers, was followed by a still-robust 69 million viewers.