An average of 5.2 million people tuned in to say so long to Barbara Walters on Friday’s The View. It’s not the show’s most-watched episode ever – that would be the 6.6 million who tuned in July 29, 2010 for President Obama’s first visit to the daytime gabber. It’s also not the second-most-watched episode in the show’s 17-year history – that being the 6.2 million who watched the Day of Hot Topics after the presidential election on November 5, 2008. Babs’ swan-song also sits behind the Day of Hot Topics after the East Coast 2009 snowpocalypse, which clocked 5.233 million viewers. Babs’ goodbye — which featured a parade of female news and infotainment talent who’ve followed in Babs’ footsteps including Oprah Winfrey, Diane Sawyer, Savannah Guthrie, Connie Chung, etc. — goes into the books as the No. 4-rated episode in the franchise’s history. (One day earlier, the return of all 11 of the show’s co-hosts to bid Babs adieu logged an average of 4.2 million people.)
To put the 5.2 million in some perspective, Walters drew a bigger crowd than CBS’ Monday sitcom Friends With Better Lives (4.8 million) scored in primetime last week, and a bigger audience than Fox’s Hell’s Kitchen scored last Thursday at 8 (4.9 million).