E! may have hit the pause button on its Bruce Jenner reality series, but ABC News is looking to air its Diane Sawyer interview with the former Olympic star-turned-Kardashian patriarch late next month. Plans for that ABC News special have changed slightly, in light of Jenner’s recent car accident in which a person was killed and seven injured.
According to sources, that wreck in Malibu will be covered by ABC News when Sawyer interviews Jenner about his transition. Sawyer, reigning Queen of the Big Get, landed the interview despite his being a home-grown star of NBCU – parent of E! Entertainment, where Jenner is patriarch of that network’s biggest franchise, the Kardashians. Doubly embarrassing for NBCU: Jenner is an Olympic gold medalist, and NBC is the broadcast network of the Olympics.
Sawyer stepped down as anchor of ABC’s World News Tonight in September, saying she would concentrate on big specials and big interviews. Jenner’s first sit-down certainly checks all those boxes and then some. This year’s May sweep ratings derby begins April 23. The interview with Sawyer would be the first discussion of Jenner’s transition by a major news outfit.
For months, Jenner’s changing appearance had been the subject of coyly worded posts in the tabloids about the shaving down of his Adam’s apple, the growing out of his hair, the manicuring and painting of his fingernails, the possible plumping of his lips. Those tabloids, long the newsletter of E! and of the Kardashian family in particular, did the first reporting that Jenner’s transition would be the subject of the latest in the pantheon of Keeping Up With the Kardashians spinoffs, which also include Kourtney And Khloe Take Miami, Kourtney And Kim Take New York, Khloé & Lamar, Kourtney & Khloe Take The Hamptons, Dash Dolls, etc.
But the media’s screaming about the 1976 Olympic decathlon champion and his changing appearance rose a couple octaves when Sawyer nabbed the Jenner sit-down. First, there was Kim Kardashian telling Entertainment Tonight, “I think everyone goes through things in life” and that her stepfather would tell his story when he thought the timing was right.
The “right” timing, originally following this season of Keeping Up With the Kardashians, might be redefined in the wake of the multi-vehicle accident early last month. Jenner was driving a Cadillac Escalade and towing an off-road vehicle along Pacific Coast Highway when he hit a Lexus from behind, according to police reports. The Lexus then veered into oncoming traffic and was hit head-on by a Hummer. The driver of the Lexus, Kim Howe, died at the scene. One passenger in the Hummer was seriously injured, according to police. Four other adults and two children also were hurt in the crash.