TV ratings: Dems bring 8.5M in broadcast's first debate

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Terror, National Security Take Center Stage at Democratic Presidential Debate

Forced to shift at least some of its focus in the wake of Friday's devastating terrorist attacks in Paris, the second debate between the Democratic presidential candidates otherwise went ahead as scheduled on CBS.

The first debate, for either party, to take place on a broadcast network, it was also the first to not get a prime weeknight showcase -- instead airing on Saturday night. Per early ratings, the two-hour affair between Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Martin O'Malley brought 8.5 million viewers.

See more from Saturday's event below:

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Democratic Debate - Saturday, November 14, 2015
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TV ratings: Dems bring 8.5M in broadcast's first debate
Senator Bernie Sanders, an independent from Vermont, left, Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton, former Secretary of State, center, and Martin OMalley, former governor of Maryland, stand on stage at the start of the Democratic presidential candidate debate at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, U.S., on Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015. The second Democratic debate, hosted by CBS News, KCCI and the Des Moines Register, is the Democratic National Committee's only sanctioned debate in Iowa prior to the states first-in-the-nation caucuses on Feb. 1. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Hillary Rodham Clinton reacts as she talks to supporters after a Democratic presidential primary debate, Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton, former Secretary of State, left, Senator Bernie Sanders, an independent from Vermont, center, and Martin OMalley, former governor of Maryland, arrive on stage at the start of the Democratic presidential candidate debate at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, U.S., on Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015. The second Democratic debate, hosted by CBS News, KCCI and the Des Moines Register, is the Democratic National Committee's only sanctioned debate in Iowa prior to the states first-in-the-nation caucuses on Feb. 1. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Hillary Rodham Clinton waves during a commercial break at a Democratic presidential primary debate, Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Democratic presidential candidates Bernie Sanders, left, Hillary Rodham Clinton and Martin O'Malley take takes a moment of silence for those killed in the Paris attacks before a Democratic presidential primary debate, Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
(L-R) Democratic Presidential hopefuls Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, and Martin OMalley take part in the second Democratic presidential primary debate in the Sheslow Auditorium of Drake University on November 14, 2015 in Des Moines, Iowa. AFP PHOTO/ MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Martin O'Malley looks at his supporters before a Democratic presidential primary debate, Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Bernie Sanders, left, makes a point as Hillary Rodham Clinton listens during a Democratic presidential primary debate, Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Democratic Presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders speaks during the second Democratic presidential primary debate in the Sheslow Auditorium of Drake University on November 14, 2015 in Des Moines, Iowa. AFP PHOTO/ MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Hillary Rodham Clinton makes a point as Martin O'Malley listens during a Democratic presidential primary debate, Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Democratic Presidential hopeful Martin OMalley speaks during the second Democratic presidential primary debate in the Sheslow Auditorium of Drake University on November 14, 2015 in Des Moines, Iowa. AFP PHOTO/ MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Democratic Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton smiles during the second Democratic presidential primary debate in the Sheslow Auditorium of Drake University on November 14, 2015 in Des Moines, Iowa. AFP PHOTO/ MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Members of the media check out the stage in the Sheslow Auditorium on Drake University campus before a Democratic presidential primary debate, Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)
Martin O'Malley, right, makes a point as Hillary Rodham Clinton listens during a Democratic presidential primary debate, Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Bernie Sanders looks at his watch during a commercial break at Democratic presidential primary debate, Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
DES MOINES, IA - NOVEMBER 14: (L-R) Des Moines Register political columnist Kathie Obradovich and CBS News Congressional Correspondent Nancy Cordes pose for a photographer prior to a presidential debate sponsored by CBS at Drake University on November 14, 2015 in Des Moines, Iowa. Democratic presidential candidates Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Hillary Clinton and Martin O'Malley participated in the party's second presidential debate. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
DES MOINES, IA - NOVEMBER 14: 'Face the Nation' anchor John Dickerson speaks prior to a presidential debate sponsored by CBS at Drake University on November 14, 2015 in Des Moines, Iowa. Democratic presidential candidates Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Hillary Clinton and Martin O'Malley participated in the party's second presidential debate. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Democratic Presidential hopefuls Hillary Clinton (R) and Bernie Sanders gesture during the second Democratic presidential primary debate in the Sheslow Auditorium of Drake University on November 14, 2015 in Des Moines, Iowa. AFP PHOTO/ MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Hillary Rodham Clinton, right, talks to Bernie Sanders after a Democratic presidential primary debate, Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Martin O'Malley waves to audience after a Democratic presidential primary debate, Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
DES MOINES, IA - NOVEMBER 14: Democratic presidential candidates (L-R) Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Hillary Clinton stand on the stage prior to a presidential debate sponsored by CBS at Drake University on November 14, 2015 in Des Moines, Iowa. The candidates participated in the party's second presidential debate. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Hillary Rodham Clinton takes the stage during a Democratic presidential primary debate, Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
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That's six debates down for the preliminary festivities to the 2016 election. Saturday followed 24 million, 23 million, 14 million and 13 million hauls for the GOP and one 15-million audience for the Dems.

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It also came just a week after MSNBC's pseudo-debate, the Democratic Forum. That raked in a little more than 2 million viewers to the cable news net. (Clearly, the candidates need to be on the same stage at the same time to draw a substantial crowd.)

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