Bruce Jenner Interview: How Many People Will Watch ABC Special?

Bruce Jenner Diane Sawyer Interview Promo

A sizable audience is expected for tonight’s heavily promoted two-hour Diane Sawyer interview with Bruce Jenner on ABC’s “20/20,” but the ratings are unlikely to approach those for other high-profile sitdowns.

Gone are the days when “get” interviews could attract 50 million or more, as when Barbara Walters’ 1999 interview with Monica Lewinsky drew a whopping 74 million viewers and Sawyer’s 1995 interview with Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley lured 60 million.

And even the tune-in achieved nearly 14 years ago with something like Connie Chung’s ABC interview with former Representative Gary A. Condit of California about missing Washington intern Chandra Levy will be hard to approach. That hourlong chat drew 23.7 million viewers.

The most recent high-profile interview on “20/20” came nearly a year ago with the female friend of disgraced Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling. That Friday “20/20” interview with Barbara Walters drew about 7.4 million. But that was a rather hastily assembled interview, and V. Stiviano was anything but a household name.

Most industry insiders give ABC a pretty good chance at doubling its Friday 9-11 p.m. average, which in 2015 has been about 6.5 million in “live plus same-day” ratings for the combo of “Shark Tank” and “20/20.” The newsmag itself has been averaging about 5.7 million viewers in the 10 o’clock hour, and Friday’s most-watched series (CBS’ “Blue Bloods”) usually approaches 12 million.

The high-end range for most predictions about tonight’s viewership has been around 16 million-18 million.

“Bruce Jenner: The Interview” would probably draw more viewers on a night other than lightly watched Friday, and as a result this might be the first example of a highly promoted primetime interview — generally seen as must-watch that night — that will fare reasonably well in DVR playback in the days ahead.

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  1. Dr. Terry says:

    What about what Bruce is going through. What a decision to make. But seems Chris and Chloe feel it’s all about them as usual.

  2. AL Guggenheim says:


    • Kathy Polizoti says:

      Loved Bruce Jenner in the 70’s and after listening to him speak last night, love him even more. What a kind, caring, and brave person.
      He deserves to live his life now as a woman and to be so proud of it. God bless you .

  3. veronica says:

    I am so proud of Bruce Jenner for finally letting his innerself out. I respect him.

  4. dan says:

    Just another ploy to gain ratings. I DONT CARE. This is not a national issue. The entire story is being geared up to make a run at a successful reality show about him. Leftists agenda’s want to bring gay lesbian and transgendered issues to the forefront for national debate but damn, I don’t need it shoved down my throat. I learned to treat people as I would like to be treated, I don’t care how someone else wants to run their life. This interview is nothing more than a 2 hour long INFOMERCIAL. E tv is picking up the reality show. Weird because E television is owned by NBC. Could they have financed this whole thing? Possible.

  5. Let me start by saying, I have a lot of respect for Bruce Jenner sharing his story with all of us. God doesn’t make mistakes!! I do think He tries to teach all of us that we are made by Him and we should love each other for heart we see in each other. Not for what gender we are . So, with that being said, I send love and good thoughts to Bruce Jenner and to her. People need to remember that people have feelings. Don’t be hurtful or make snide remarks about other people. Didn’t mean to preach, but this is how I feel.

  6. Way 2 go tell the world who you are and don’t let anyone tell you how too live your life everyone needs too remember this is the land of the free.

  7. Janina Martin says:

    Think Kris Jenner is responsible. Really don’t think he always felt that way. MONEY……..I only wish that people don’t watch the K Show nor the “spin off” of Bruce Jenner. I turned off the interview…..enough……REAL ISSUES should be broad casted sp. with Barbara W.. For example: teachers pay and children living in cars and teachers that provide comfort and care.

  8. justsayNOtopervs says:

    I’d rather watch Ishtar.

  9. Hector Rodriges says:

    who gives a dam about the idiot ?

  10. Tom Peffer says:

    will wait for highlights… not going to watch it on his terms… He should be doing time for Vehicular Manslaughter … RIP Kim Howe..

  11. Dawn says:

    I’m very excited to hear from Bruce. I’ve always thought he was a genuinely nice man. If he is happy then God bless him. It saddened me to see all the jokes and negative comments about him lately. Many of us think very highly of him and wish him nothing but the best.

  12. hrkeith says:

    Only the Palin’s, to see how the other half of the trailer trash world lives.

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