Bruce Jenner may be known now for the connection to the Kardashian clan, but for the older generation, Jenner is best known for winning the decathlon gold medal at the 1976 Summer Olympics. And after winning the gold in Montreal, Jenner became a commercial pitchman, actor and a part-time analyst for ABC Sports.

But it was marrying Kris Jenner and becoming the stepfather to Kim and Khloe Kardashian that has been Jenner’s calling card in recent years. And as of last Friday, it’s an interview with ABC’s Diane Sawyer that has people talking.

The revelation to Diane Sawyer that Jenner is transitioning genders certainly captured the viewing audience. According to Deadline, the 20/20 two-hour special received an average audience of 16.9 million viewers making it the most-watched non-sports and non-awards show this year on any network.

Putting the numbers into perspective, it’s the best Friday viewership for ABC dating back to January 2004 and the viewership is the best for 20/20 since a 2000 interview with the parents of Jon Benet Ramsey aired.

Deadline notes that the Jenner interview grabbed the imagination of Twitter and also propelled ABC to a ratings win:

With#brucejennerabc, #brucejenner and #brucejennerinterview flying around Twitter, the interview garnered 972,000 tweets from 403,000 unique authors last night. In metered market results, Sawyer’s interview with Jenner got a 12.8/22 result. That’s a 212% rocket launch over what the 10 PM 20/20 achieved last week. The peak of the Jenner interview came in the 10 PM half hour slot with a 13.1/22.

The interview starring the former Olympic gold medalist and current reality star certainly drew eyeballs for ABC and there will be plenty of attention following his journey from here on out.


About Ken Fang

Ken has been covering the sports media in earnest at his own site, Fang's Bites since May 2007 and at Awful Announcing since March 2013.

He provides a unique perspective having been an award-winning radio news reporter in Providence and having worked in local television.

Fang celebrates the four Boston Red Sox World Championships in the 21st Century, but continues to be a long-suffering Cleveland Browns fan.

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