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Posted at 07:19 PM ET, 01/18/2013

Big numbers — but not record-breaking — for first part of Oprah’s Lance Armstrong interview


A video screen at a hotel restaurant in Grapevine, Texas, shows Lance Armstrong being interviewed by Oprah Winfrey. (LM Otero - AP)

After the seemingly endless lead-up (promos, YouTube teases, previews on morning shows) Oprah Winfrey’s highly-touted interview with Lance Armstrong got big numbers — but not record-breaking ones.

Approximately 3.2 million people watched Oprah grill the disgraced cyclist, in his first interview since he was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles after the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency released a report accusing him of doping during his career. This was the second-highest rated telecast in the network’s two-year history.

While this is a good number for ratings-hungry OWN, it still fell short of OWN’s all-time record, the 3.5 million that tuned in on March 12, 2012, to hear Oprah interview Whitney Houston’s family, just a month after the singer died the night before the Grammy Awards.

Still, OWN noted, the Armstrong episode was the highest-rated weekday telecast in the network’s history across key demos; another airing at 10:30 p.m. copped another 1.1 million viewers.

The interview was originally scheduled to just air Thursday, but Oprah said in a “CBS This Morning” interview this week that there was too much material to cut — so a second part of the interview airs Friday night, from 9 to 10 p.m.

By  |  07:19 PM ET, 01/18/2013

 
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