The Washington Times - August 18, 2008, 10:31AM

About 40 million people tuned in to see Michael Phelps win his record eighth gold medal on Saturday night, and the evening’s broadcast was the most-watched Saturday program on NBC since a 1990 epidose of “Empty Nest.”

Saturday’s broadcast averaged 31.1 million viewers and peaked at about 40 million at 11 p.m. when Phelps participated in the finals of the 400-meter medley relay. About 70 million people tuned in at some point on Saturday.

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Through Saturday, the Beijing Olympics have drawn 191 million total viewers. That’s 14 million more than the Athens Games at the same period and 5 million more than the Atlanta Games in 1996, which holds the title for the most-watched event in U.S. history.

One big question, though: Empty Nest? Really? Richard Mulligan and his annoying daughters? Man, this is just another example of why the early 1990s were a horrible time period in American history.

- Tim Lemke