Barack Obama's re-election victory took in an adults 18-49 demographic score of 4.6 in the preliminary ratings, which is slightly higher than its score in 2008. It was watched by 12.56 million viewers from 8pm.
ABC finished in second place with a demo score of 3.8 (11.15m), a distinct drop from 2008's 4.5.
CBS rose from its coverage of the last election, taking in a figure of 2.7 (8.42m).
Fox finished in last place on the night, with an even score of 2.0 and 4.95 million viewers.
However, the figures are likely to receive changes due to the nature of live programming in the final ratings.
The CW aired repeats of Arrow (0.6/1.81m) and Emily Owens MD (0.4/1.28m).