TV STUFF: Election Wins Ratings

American viewers agree: There’s nothing like watching democracy unfold on the tube.

And we are not talking about weekly episodes of “The West Wing.”

A preliminary Nielsen report shows that more than 66 million viewers tuned in to Tuesday’s night coverage of the presidential race between the four major networks, three cable outlets and PBS.

The 66 million figure marks a 73 percent jump in viewership from the 1996 election.

According to the estimates, NBC came out on top Tuesday night with about 19 million viewers, followed by ABC with 16 million and CBS at 14 million.

Actual numbers will be released later today.

VANITY MIRROR: The Associated Press says that “Today” show host Katie Couric, “Survivor” survivor Richard Hatch and “Harry Potter” novelist J.K. Rowling are among the honorees featured in Vanity Fair’s 2000 Hall of Fame issue in December.

BYE, BYE, BYE: Daily Variety reports that Spike Feresten, one of the executive producers of “The Michael Richards Show,” has quit the series after only two shows. Feresten, along with the show’s other three executive producers, previously collaborated on the hit show “Seinfeld.” His vacancy is not expected to be replaced.

BASEBALL, ANYONE? So much for the Subway series between the Mets and the Yankees. The Fox network has apparently lost more than $70 million due to poor ratings during its post season coverage of Major League Baseball. The victory ring eventually went to the Yankees in just five games.

HE’S BACK: Foul-mouthed 1980s relic Andrew “Dice” Clay has landed the lead in a new weekly comedy called “Colosseum.” The comedian will play a Chicago street hustler and fight promoter being hurled back in time to ancient Rome. Uh-huh.