Given the wave of publicity, Oprah Winfrey‘s sit-down with disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong was expected to be a ratings monster and a game-changer for Winfrey’s OWN network. The first part of Winfrey’s interview, in which Armstrong admitted to doping, was big but not a record breaker. It averaged 3.2 million total viewers in its premiere telecast at 9 PM and another 1.1 million at 10:30 PM for a total of 4.3 million. The original telecast couldn’t top Winfrey’s newsmaking Oprah’s Next Chapter interview with Whitney Houston’s family, which garnered 3.5 million on March 11. The special’s premiere still ranked as the highest rated weekday telecast in OWN history across all key demos. Here are the stats:
“Oprah’s Next Chapter” Lance Armstrong (Thursday, January 17 from 9-10:30 p.m. ET/PT)
• 9 p.m. ET/PT: 2.10 W25-54; 3,174,523 million total viewers
• Growth versus year ago: +855% W25-54, +931% total viewers
• #1 weekday telecast in OWN history across all key demos
• #1 telecast in network history across all key men demos: 1.88 M25-54; 1.59 M18-49; .98 M18-34.
• 10:30 p.m. ET/PT: .80 W25-54; 1,119,000 million total viewers
• Growth versus year ago: +158% W25-54, +235% total viewers