Over 17 million people tuned in to watch Oprah Winfrey’s much-anticipated interview with Meghan Markle and Prince Harry on CBS. For perspective’s sake, that’s “more eyeballs than last September’s Primetime Emmys and last week’s Golden Globes put together,” according to Deadline. Jared Leto and his flower have nothing on Oprah. It’s a good thing for CBS that the interview was a ratings blockbuster, as the network paid Winfrey’s production company, Harpo Productions, at least $7 million for the broadcast rights.
The two-hour Oprah with Meghan and Harry: A CBS Primetime Special pulled in 2.6 rating among adults 18-49 and 17.1 million viewers for the network in early numbers. In fact, with the exception of the 20.4 million who saw the post-Super Bowl debut of Queen Latifah’s The Equalizer, Meghan and Harry has been awarded the largest non-sports audience of the 2020-2021 TV season so far.
The 17.1 million final tally is equal to the number of people who watched Diane Sawyer’s 2015 interview with Caitlyn Jenner, but it’s well behind the staggering 62 million viewers for Oprah’s chat with Michael Jackson in 1993.
For those without CBS hoping to watch Meghan and Harry on Paramount+ (the former-CBS All Access) I have bad news for you: it’s not there. Variety reports that’s because Harpo, not CBS, owned the streaming rights, so “while the special was available on Paramount Plus to stream live, and is on CBS.com for free right now, it won’t be added to the nascent streamer’s programming.”
The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run is on Paramount+, though. It’s pretty good!