The first installment of Oprah Winfrey’s interview with former seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong was a ratings hit for Winfrey’s OWN cable network.
The network announced that the program — part one of the two-part interview, with part two set to air tonight — attracted 4.3 million total viewers — including 3.2 million for the 9 p.m. broadcast and 1.1 million for a second airing.
The special edition of “Oprah’s Next Chapter” was the highest-rated weekday telecast in OWN history across all key demos, OWN said. Additionally, it was the highest-rated telecast in network history across all key male demos (1.88 M25-54, 1.59 M18-49, .98 M18-34).
OWN announced: “Thursday’s interview (9 p.m.) was the second-highest network telecast to date garnering 3.2 million total viewers, posting strong triple-digit growth across the key demos versus year ago numbers (+855% W25-54, +931% total viewers). The second airing (10:30 p.m.) earned an additional 1.1 million viewers. OWN’s top telecast is ‘Oprah’s Next Chapter’ featuring Whitney Houston’s family (March 11, 2012; 3.5 million viewers).”
The network added: “The conversation continues tonight as ‘Oprah and Lance Armstrong: The Worldwide Exclusive’ Part 2 airs Friday, January 18, from 9-10 p.m. ET/PT on OWN and will be simultaneously streaming LIVE worldwide on Oprah.com. In the interview, Winfrey speaks with Armstrong in Austin, Texas, about the alleged doping scandal, years of accusations of cheating and use of performance-enhancing drugs throughout his career.”