Even as the nation's euphoria over the first Republican primary debate settle down (watch by estimated 24 million viewers, making it the highest-rated primary debate in television history), CNN said it is hosting the next GOP debate on Sept. 16, reported Politico.
CNN will divide the second GOP primary debate into two parts featuring two separate sets of candidates. The first group will be comprised of candidates who belong in the top 10 according to public opinion polls and the other consist of candidates who will meet a minimum treshold of 1 percent in the public polling.
"The first 10 candidates - ranked from highest to lowest in polling order from an average of all qualifying polls released between July 16 and September 10 who satisfy the criteria requirements ... will be invited to participate in 'Segment B' of the September 16, 2015 Republican Presidential Primary Debate," CNN said in announcing the criteria it set. "Candidates who satisfy the criteria and achieve an average of at least 1 percent in three national polls, but are not ranked in the top 10 of polling order will be invited to participate in 'Segment A' of the September 16, 2015 Republican Presidential Primary Debate."
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus quickly commented on CNN's criteria and said in a short message, "We support and respect the decision CNN has made."
CNN added that "if the number of candidates who qualify for the debate is 14 or fewer, CNN reserves the right to limit the number of participants in 'Segment B' to eight candidates. The remaining qualified candidates will be invited to participate in 'Segment A' of the debate."
The network also provided strict rules in deciding in case there is a tie for the 10th place. It added, "The tiebreaker will be an average of all qualifying polls released between August 26 and September 10," it states. "The second tiebreaker will be an average of all qualifying polling conducted in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada released between July 16 and September 10."
To view CNN's full criteria for the CNN Republican primary debate, including a list of recognized polls, please click here. The CNN Republican primary debate will be held at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California.
Thursday's two-hour GOP debate that was hosted by Fox News broke all primary debate broadcasts in history and was the highest rated telecast in Fox News Channel's 20-year history. It should not be as a surprise because it features the flamboyant industrialist Donald Trump, a known ratings magnate who also produces hit shows like The Celebrity Apprentice and the Ms. Universe beauty pageant.
Data from Neilsen showed that 7.9 million of the viewers were aged between 25 and 54 years old, or those belonging to the key advertising demographics.
The GOP debate easily dwarfed David Letterman's farewell show which generated 13.7 million viewers and tied most watched "Sunday Night Football" game last season, the Dallas Cowboys versus Philadelphia Eagles game which drew 24.3 million viewers.
Stay tuned on CNN.com for live stream schedule of the next GOP primary debate next month.