Palin power drove ABC News to the top of the ratings race Thursday.

Part one of ABC anchorman Charles Gibson's interview with Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin drew an audience of 9.73 million viewers, up 24 percent from the previous Thursday for ABC News.

That meant a first place win for ABC World News topping NBC Nightly News by 2.22 million viewers, and CBS Evening News by 3.57 million, according to Nielsen Media Research.

The second interview with the Alaska governor led Nightline to victory over the Tonight Show with Jay Leno and the Late Show with David Letterman.

On the new media front... As of early Friday morning, abcnews.com had totaled 3 million page views and 600,000 video views of the Palin interviews.

I'll be reviewing the Gibson-Palin matchup again after World News tonight.

 And another heads-up: I'll be reviewing Michael Phelps' acting debut on Saturday Night Live right after the show -- right here.

(Above: ABC News Photo of Sarah Palin and Charlie Gibson by Donna Svennevik)

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