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Aug 24, 2001  •  Post A Comment

‘PrimeTime’ scores big with Condit interview

Connie Chung’s interview with Congressman Gary Condit last Thursday may not have improved his image, but it did make ABC’s “PrimeTime Thursday” the most-watched TV program of the summer and the most-watched news program since Barbara Walters’ March 1999 chat with Monica Lewinsky. “PrimeTime” attracted 23.7 million viewers and averaged a 17.2 rating/29 share, according to preliminary national data from Nielsen Media Research.

ABC affiliated stations around the country saw their late-news numbers more than double — Hearst-Argyle’s WPBF-TV in West Palm Beach, Fla., racked up an astounding 18.3/28 for its newscast following the Condit interview, which did a 25.4/39.

Meanwhile, the cable news channels did a brisk Nielsen business by talking about Ms. Chung’s interview. It was a tight race between CNN, which averaged 947,000 viewers in prime time, and Fox News Channel, which averaged 917,000 viewers in prime time; MSNBC averaged 225,000. Across five hours of live Condit programming, Fox averaged more than 1 million viewers.

(c) Copyright 2001 by Crain Communications