Last night’s Republican presidential debate was CNN’s highest-rated program ever with ~20 million viewers

Thursday’s Republican presidential debate will go down as CNN’s highest-rated program ever.

According to early numbers, the GOP debate scored a 4.7 household rating. That amounts to nearly 20 million viewers for the 3-hour event, according to TheWrap.

That’s still about four million less viewers than the highly rated firstc GOP debate brought in to Fox News in August.

The official numbers will be reported on Thursday afternoon. Previously, CNN’s all-time high was the 8 million viewers who watched Barack Obama debate Hillary Clinton in ’08.

CNN’s three hour debate had created much buzz before it aired, because Republican candidate Donald Trump dared the news network to donate its proceeds to charity. CNN didn’t respond to Trump’s request.

The 3-hour debate included the ability for Trump’s many opponents to address the the statements he has made about them over the course of his campaign so far.

The next Republican debate will air Wednesday, October 28 on CNBC.

NOW WATCH: The most heated moments during the second GOP debate