Oprah gets huge ratings with Lance Armstrong interview

5:44 PM, Jan 19, 2013   |    comments
Oprah Winfrey (R) speaks with Lance Armstrong during an interview regarding the controversy surrounding his cycling career, Jan. 14, 2013, in Austin, Texas. (Photo: Getty Images)
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By Gary Levin
USA TODAY

Oprah Winfrey's interview with Lance Armstrong Thursday gave her OWN network a big shot in the arm.

About 3.2 million viewers tuned in to the 90-minute first part of the interview at 9 p.m. ET/PT, and additional 1.1 million watched a repeat at 10:30, according to Nielsen estimates.

The interview didn't break a previous record held by OWN, 3.5 million for the first airing of Winfrey's March 2012 interview with the late Whitney Houston's daughter, Bobbi Kristina. The hour-long Part 2 of Winfrey's Armstrong interview airs tonight at 9 ET/PT.

OWN averaged a mere 330,000 viewers in prime time last year, but its ratings were up 30%. And Winfrey promises more big interview "gets" to bolster the channel, which has also been helped by original series such as Iyanla: Fix My Life, Welcome to Sweetie Pie's and daytime reruns of talk and reality shows borrowed from other channels. OWN is a joint venture between Winfrey and Discovery Networks.

USA Today

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