Ratings: ABC’s ‘20/20′ Spikes With Interview of Columbine Shooter’s Mother

Ratings: '20/20' Spikes With Interview of
Courtesy of ABC

ABC News has delivered another winning sweeps performance for the Alphabet, as Diane Sawyer’s exclusive “20/20” interview with the mother of one of the Columbine shooters dominated its time period in key demos and teamed with “Shark Tank” to lift the network to victory on the night.

In Nielsen’s preliminary nationals, “20/20” averaged a 1.7 rating/6 share in adults 18-49, a 2.3/7 in adults 25-54 and 7.2 million viewers overall in the 10 p.m. hour. It surged 42% week to week in 18-49 to beat both CBS’ “Blue Bloods” original (1.4/5) and nearly double the delivery of competing news program “Dateline” on NBC (0.9/3).

The 18-49 rating matched the delivery of a November sweep edition of “20/20” on Leah Remini and her time in the Church of Scientology as the newsmagazine’s highest of the season. And of course, the highest ratings in years for “20/20” came with last year’s two-hour May sweep installment “Bruce Jenner: The Interview” (5.2/18 in 18-49, 17.10 million viewers overall), in which Sawyer sat down with the former Olympian athlete who spoke of his transition to a female.

Friday’s “20/20” featured Sawyer’s interview with Sue Klebold, speaking on television for the first time about the April 1999 shootings at Columbine High School that killed 14 students (including the two killers) and one teacher and injured more than 20 others.

Leading into “20/20” for ABC, “Shark Tank” (1.7/6 in 18-49, 6.7 million viewers overall) seemed to benefit from pre-“20/20” tune-in. The alternative series matched its season high and tied with “20/20” as Friday’s top progra,

At CBS, the season premiere of “The Amazing Race” (1.2/5 in 18-49, 6.1 million viewers overall) won its 8 p.m. time period and was up a tick from its year-ago opener (1.1). The network was also a solid second to ABC in demos (and first in total viewers) with dramas “Hawaii Five-0” (1.3/5 in 18-49, 8.8 million viewers overall) and “Blue Bloods” (1.4/5 in 18-49, 10.9 million viewers overall). “Blue Bloods” matched its second highest demo rating of the season and was Friday’s most-watched program overall.

Fox’s “Sleepy Hollow” (0.7/3 in 18-49, 3.2 million viewers overall) was down 0.2 in its second week on Friday, and that brought down lead-out “Second Chance” (0.5/1 in 18-49, 2.1 million viewers overall) down a tenth with it.

NBC’s “Caught on Camera with Nick Cannon” was down a tick (0.8/3 in 18-49, 4.2 million viewers overall) was down a tick, and “Grimm” was steady (0.9/3 in 18-49, 4.1 million). CW’s “The Vampire Diaries” (0.4/2 in 18-49, 1.1 million viewers overall) held steady, but “The Originals” was down a tenth (0.3/1 in 18-49, 0.8 million viewers overall).

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  1. A1 B2C3 says:

    Sorry I missed it , but hardly ever does 20/20 do solid investigative reporting anymore, so I took it off my dvr list. Most of the time it’s silly girl agenda BS; what’s the best lip stick to buy; who’s starring in the next girl power soap opera/ broadway show; fashion advice, etc. Most of the time you have to go to 60 Minutes for hard hitting investigative reports. It will probably be a long time before they do an interesting 20/20 show again- probably next May. eyeroll!

  2. DRW says:

    Am I the only one that noticed when she “broke down” I never saw really any actual tears?? She doesn’t speak in over 17 years & now she’s writing a book…that’s the only reason she agreed to the interview in my opinion.

    • AJB says:

      Yeah probably, but she wrote the book to raise awareness for mental health and suicide prevention and is donating 100% of the profits to mental health charities. Even if she did it for publicity I don’t think she stands anything to gain from it personally (and stands awful lot to lose, not least of all her anonymity), and only did so to raise more awareness about something that desperately needs the publicity. She seemed pretty genuine to me and heartbroken to me.

  3. Dorothea Redenbaugh says:

    I can’t believe how this is being talked about like these parents had anything to do with what their children did since when does what a parent learns later make them responsible. Unless there was more then what she told us about his actions I don’t see how she or her husband could have known . Remember this was before we were being told to know what our children were saying on social network or what friends were saying to each other. In other accounts the police were told about some of the boys antics and they didn’t see it as anything but boys fighting with others. The idea that this parent or the other parents of these boys owed anyone an apology is beyond me. People act like it was unusual in Colorado for guns to be around their homes in Colorado in would be more unusable if there weren’t guns. Of course the bombs were another story but since none of the parents were ever charged with a crime I think we can safely say there was nothing in the investigation that lead the police to think the parents were in anyway involved. I certainly can understand the parents of the children killed or injured being angry and each one of them handle it differently but, the rest of us have no excuse for thinking or expecting this women and the other parents to feel responsible . Of course it is nice that she wrote letters to the victims families but that doesn’t mean she owed it to them or anyone else it just was nice. Unfortunately some people need someone who is still alive to be angry at so I guess these parents have been some people’s target.

    • Lee Waters says:

      Dorothy, of course she should apologize and I’m glad she did! I am a Mother of two very responsible and successful adult children. I have always felt that their actions are a reflection of me and my husband. Our children’s brains are not fully developed until they are 21 years old so we should always be prepared for them to make bad decisions. In addition to teaching them right from wrong, we should “deputized” everyone we know to keep an eye out for them. We should go through their bedrooms, their cars, their book bags and anything else we need to on a weekly basis at a minimum. Trust and privacy shouldn’t be part of a parent’s vocabulary. It takes a village to raise a child and if a parent does it correctly, 90 percent of the time, the child will not stray. I appreciated her interview and her reflection. While it is NOT her fault her son killed other people, she certainly should have apologized for what her son did. PERIOD!!!

  4. Zelda says:

    At first, I was interested in the 20/20 interview right up to the point where they said the other boy was legit disturbed and the Klebold kid was more of a follower. Did she do the interview to make her kid seem a little less of a monster?

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