Fast National ratings for Friday, April 24, 2015.
It was clear that ABC's Diane Sawyer interview with Bruce Jenner was going to do big numbers, but probably nobody expected this:
The frank and exposing conversation with the Olympic legend, reality star and trans pioneer drew a mind-boggling 16.9 million viewers and a 5.2 rating among adults 18-49 for ABC. The Bruce Jenner interview crushed the competition in all measures as ABC swept Friday night.
A few of ABC's vaunted highlights:
*** This was the top “20/20” in all key demos — the news key demo is 25-54, rather than 18-49 — since 2000.
*** It was TV's biggest non-sports Friday broadcast in viewers and the 18-49 demo since 2003 and in the key news demo since 2005.
*** This was also the most social non-sports Friday telecast of all-time.
That's just an early sample and ABC is promising more numbers later.
Note that The CW had a slew of major market preemptions on Friday, so “Cedric's Barber Battle” didn't suddenly become a hit. The numbers are just inflated.
On to the numbers, including more demo details on the Jenner interview…
Among adults 18-49, ABC averaged a 4.0 rating for Friday night, tops in the key demographic. CBS was second with a 1.1 key demo rating, followed by FOX and NBC's 0.9 key demo rating. The CW averaged an inflated 0.4 key demo rating for the night.
Overall, ABC averaged an estimated 13.84 million viewers and did a 9.0 rating/16 share for Friday primetime. CBS was a distant second with 7.98 million viewers and a 5.0/9. NBC's 4.45 million viewers and 3.0/5 finished third, topping the 3.015 million viewers and 1.7/3 for FOX. The CW averaged an inflated 1.25 million viewers and 0.8/1 for the night.
8 p.m. – ABC kicked off its primetime sweep with “Shark Tank” averaging 7.79 million viewers and a 1.7 rating among adults 18-49 for the 8 p.m. hour. CBS' “The Amazing Race” was second with 5.92 million viewers and a 1.1 key demo rating, ahead of the 4.7 million viewers and 1.0 key demo rating for NBC's “Grimm.” The first hour of FOX's “A Night at the Museum 2” averaged 2.95 million viewers and a 0.8 key demo rating, beating the 1.3 million viewers and 0.4 key demo rating for The CW's programming, which included “Cedric's Barber Battle,” “Whose Line Is it Anyway?” and preemptions.
9 p.m. – The first hour of ABC's “Bruce Jenner – The Interview” averaged 16.735 million viewers and a 5.0 rating among adults 18-49. That more-than-doubled the 8.28 million viewers for CBS' “Hawaii Five-0” and more-than-quadrupled CBS' 1.1 key demo rating. NBC's “Dateline” averaged 4.23 million viewers and a 0.8 key demo rating, compared to the 3.08 million viewers and 0.9 key demo rating for FOX's movie. The CW's preemption-inflated “Messengers” averaged 1.2 million viewers and a 0.4 key demo rating, so it didn't really.
10 p.m. – The second hour of “Bruce Jenner – The Interview” rose slightly to 16.99 million viewers and a 5.3 rating among adults 18-49. CBS was a distant second with the 9.75 million viewers and 1.0 key demo rating for CBS' “Blue Bloods.” NBC's “Dateline” averaged 4.435 million viewers and a 0.9 key demo rating in third.
A few more “Bruce Jenner – The Interview” numbers: You can't find any demographic in which the show wasn't massive. It did a 4.2 rating among adults 18-34 and a 6.4 rating among adults 25-54. The gender splits were also big, with a 7.0 rating among women 18-49 and a 3.3 rating among men, a 5.9 rating among women 18-34 and a 2.4 rating among men, and an 8.6 rating among women 25-54 and a 4.2 rating among men. The hour-to-hour splits are positive and impressive, but in each major age range, male viewership was flat hour-to-hour (or in the case of the youngest male demos, down), but female viewership rose.
All ratings information comes from preliminary Fast National Nielsen data, which includes live and same-day DVR viewing. All numbers are subject to change, particularly in the case of live events.