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Expand chart
Data: NewsWhip; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

While TV ratings for the impeachment hearings peaked on the first day of testimony from Bill Taylor and George Kent, none drew as much online attention as former ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, according to data from NewsWhip.

Why it matters: Democrats hoped to sway public opinion with revelations about a smoking gun of Trump's involvement in a quid pro quo, but the numbers highlight the power of an emotional appeal.

  • Yovanovitch became a sympathetic figure to many over perceptions that she was wrongfully removed from her post.

Yes, but: Since she had been removed from her post by May, Yovanovitch couldn't speak to central details around the impeachment inquiry focused on events in July.

The big picture: TV ratings steadily declined over the course of the 5 days of hearings, according to Nielsen data.

  • The first day of testimony pulled in 13.8 million viewers and Yovanovitch got 12.7 million.
  • Tuesday and Wednesday of this week both got 11.4 million viewers. Thursday's hearing pulled in 11.3 million.

By comparison to other big Trump-era television events:

  • Christine Blasey Ford/Brett Kavanaugh: 20 million
  • James Comey: 19.5 million
  • Michael Cohen: 15.8 million
  • Robert Mueller: 13 million

The 5 biggest stories of the impeachment hearings, per NewsWhip:

  1. "Yovanovitch gets standing ovation at the end of 5-hour hearing" (The Week) - 675k interactions
  2. "Flashback: Obama Fired All Of Bush’s Politically Appointed Ambassadors In 2008" (The Daily Caller) - 490k
  3. "Alexander Vindman has reached out to Army about his family's safety amid attacks by Trump and GOP lawmakers" (CNN) - 229k
  4. "Marie Yovanovitch admits Obama admin prepped her on Hunter Biden before her confirmation" (New York Post) - 203k
  5. "The Army is prepared to move Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman and his family to a safe location if necessary" (Business Insider) - 162k

Go deeper: The highlights from all of the public impeachment hearings

Go deeper

52 mins ago - World

Brazil senators vote to recommend criminal charges for Bolsonaro

Brazilian senators vote on probe into President Bolsonaro's handling of pandemic. Photo: Gustavo Minas/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A Brazilian Senate committee Tuesday voted to approve a report recommending President Jair Bolsonaro be charged with a raft of criminal indictments, including crimes against humanity over his response to the COVID-19 pandemic, per AP.

Why it matters: Bolsonaro has become the face of a right-wing approach to the pandemic that includes repudiating vaccines and masks and resisting lockdowns and other mitigation measures. The Senate report holds him personally responsible for half of the country's 600,000 deaths.

Former Georgetown tennis coach pleads guilty to accepting admissions bribes

Gordon Ernst (left) former head tennis coach at Georgetown, outside a courthouse in Boston in 2019. Photo: Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

A former Georgetown University head tennis coach has pleaded guilty Tuesday to bribery charges related to facilitating the admission of prospective applicants.

Why it matters: Gordon Ernst solicited and accepted bribes from William Singer, ringleader of the cheating scheme uncovered by Operation Varsity Blues, and families in exchange for helping prospective applicants get into Georgetown as student athletes, according to the Justice Department.

4 hours ago - Health

CDC says some immunocompromised people can get fourth COVID shot

Photo: Noriko Hayashi/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in updated guidelines Tuesday that some immunocompromised people who have received either Pfizer or Moderna's COVID-19 vaccines will be able to get a fourth shot.

Details: People over 18 who are "moderately to severely immunocompromised" and have received three doses of an mRNA vaccine may get a fourth shot (of either the Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson vaccines) at least six months after getting their third Pfizer or Moderna dose, per the CDC.