The nationally televised U.S. vice-presidential debate Thursday night has become the most-watched in history, Nielsen Media Research reported Friday.
With 66.9 million U.S. viewers, the debate between Democratic vice-presidential candidate Joe Biden and his Republican opponent Sarah Palin handily beat the previous record of 56.7 million viewers.
That record was set in 1984 by Democratic vice-presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro, the first woman on a major-party ticket, and the Republican incumbent at the time, George Bush.
The audience tally for the Palin-Biden debate also easily eclipsed the 52.4 million viewers who tuned in for the first faceoff between presidential nominees Republican John McCain and Democrat Barack Obama last Friday.
Two more presidential debates are scheduled for Oct. 7 and Oct. 15.