Phelps powers NBC

Michael Phelps set a record winning his eighth gold medal in the swimming relay at the Olympics, and it brought a boatload of viewers to NBC on a night where the tube is considered an afterthought.

NBC drew 31.1 million viewers for its Olympic coverage on Saturday night, with a peak 40 million at 10 p.m. Central Time.

The last time NBC drew more than 30 million viewers on a Saturday was on February 24, 1990 when an episode of the now-forgotten sitcom Empty Nest drew 31.4 million viewers.

NBC has now reached 191 million for the Beijing games so far, and is on a record pace to become the most watched Olympics ever.