Last night’s Fox News-Facebook debate brought in a record number of viewers, according to data from Nielsen Media Research.

A whopping 24 million people tuned in to the 9-11p ET debate.

Fox News drew 7.9 million viewers in the 25-54 demographic.

The prime-time debate was the highest rated presidential primary debate in television history. It was also the biggest telecast in Fox News Channel history.

AP reported:

NEW YORK (AP) — An estimated 24 million people watched Fox News Channel's prime-time debate with the top 10 Republican presidential candidates, the highest-rated broadcast in the network's history.

The Nielsen company said Thursday's debate ratings more than doubled Fox News' best ratings in the past, for election night 2012. A debate with seven lower-polling candidates earlier Thursday had 6.1 million viewers.

The debate turned into a slugfest with front-runner Donald Trump in particular feeling the heat. He tweeted out criticism of the network's three moderators as "not very good or professional" and retweeted a message from a supporter who called the network's Megyn Kelly a "bimbo."

Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes defended his moderators, calling it "the best political debate team ever put on television."


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