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TV Column
Posted at 04:41 PM ET, 01/20/2012

Stephanopoulos back in the saddle, ‘This Week’ lassos more viewers

George Stephanopoulos. left, with Diane Sawyer (Kevork Djansezian - GETTY IMAGES)
With George Stephanopoulos back in the saddle, ABC’s “This Week” enjoyed its most watched broadcast in 10 months.

As people got the hang of Stephanopoulos being back, the audience grew to about 2.7 million last Sunday – George’s second week back as anchor of the Sunday Beltway show.

The previous week, which marked his official return to the job, he attracted nearly 2.4 million. For comparison sake, this TV season, his replacement, Christiane Amanpour had averaged around 2.3 million viewers at the helm.

Anyway, Stephanopoulos’s second showing came in just 90,000 viewers shy of the crowd he snared in what was billed as his “final” broadcast as “This Week” anchor, in January of ’10.

But network’s don’t sell all viewers to advertisers. In news programs, they sell 25-54 year old viewers. And Stephanopoulos last Sunday clocked 780,000 viewers in the age bracket, which was virtually on par with the number of 25-54 year olds he’d attracted in his “final” broadcast as host back in ’10. Meanwhile, Amanpour averaged just under 700,000 in the age bracket this season.

But, what with this being an election cycle, Stephanopoulos still has his work cut out for him. Last Sunday’s audience of nearly 2.7 mil still puts him well behind CBS’s “Face the Nation” (3.5 million) and NBC’s “Meet the Press” (3.1 million). He did, however, finish well ahead of “Fox News Sunday (1.3 million).

In the 25-54-year-old age bracket these show sell to advertisers, “This Week” also fell short of “MTP” (880,000) and both shows were left eating Bob Schieffer’s dust (1.3 million). “Fox News Sunday” garnered 530,000 viewers in the age group.

Last month, CNN and ABC announced Amanpour would return to what she does best – international reporting – for both news outfits; ABC announced Stephanopoulos would return to “This Week.”

Amanpour anchored “This Week” for about 18 months.

By  |  04:41 PM ET, 01/20/2012

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