Fox News has highest telecast ratings of its 16-year run with last night’s debate

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The cable news ratings are in from last night's final presidential debate.

While CNN managed to edge out MSNBC both in total viewers and the advertiser-friendly 25-to-54-year-old demographic, it was Fox News that won the overall race by a mile.

And it did that even as the total number of viewers across all broadcast and cable networks was lower for this debate than for the two previous ones, with a total of 53.9 million viewers.

During the debate, which lasted from 9 to 10:30 p.m., CNN clocked 5.8 million total viewers (2.5 million viewers in the 25-54 age demographic) compared to MSNBC's 4.06 million and 1.7 million, respectively, according to Nielsen Fast National Ratings, provided by CNN.

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Fox News, on the other hand, ran away with 11.5 million total viewers and 3.4 million adult viewers ages 25-54, making last night's debate Fox News' highest-rating telecast in its 16 years on the air, according to a report in The Huffington Post.

CNN, however, noted that it topped both networks in terms of younger viewers, with a total of 1.2 million in the 18-34 range compared to Fox News Channel's 941,000 and MSNBC's 499,000.

As usual, Fox News also had the most total viewers (9.07 million) during all of last night's primetime hours. The network's chairman and C.E.O., Roger Ailes, just signed on for another four years with the network, which is one of News Corp's biggest money-makers.

In broadcast, NBC came out on top with 12.4 million total viewers, followed by ABC with 11.7 million and CBS with 8.4 million, according to Nielsen's fast-tracked results.