Nielsen says 17.7 million watched Thursday's Jan. 6 hearing

Sarah Matthews, former White House deputy press secretary, bottom left, and Matt Pottinger, former deputy national security adviser, are sworn in, as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol holds a hearing at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, July 21, 2022. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, Pool) (Alex Brandon, Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

NEW YORK – An estimated 17.7 million viewers watched Thursday night's hearing of the House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol.

The Nielsen Company said that is second to the 20 million who saw the first committee hearing on June 9, the only other one of the eight sessions held in prime time.

Ten networks aired this past week's hearing live, down from the 11 that showed the June 9 session. The conservative network Newsmax dropped out this time.

The six daytime hearings average 11.2 million viewers, with a peak audience of 13.2 million on June 28, when ex-White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson testified about former President Donald Trump's behavior.

An estimated 13.6 million of Thursday's viewers, or 77 percent, were age 55 and older, Nielsen said. Only 705,000 viewers were 18 to 34.

MSNBC said the 4.7 million people who watched its coverage represented the network's biggest prime-time audience since the night of the event that the committee is investigating.

Public hearings are expected to resume in September.