ABC News continued to roll out its Bruce Jenner transition story this morning on Good Morning America. The continuation of the reporting is no surprise – it’s the May sweep. ABC News had not said whether there’s still more coming but, to reiterate: May sweep. Already the Jenner interview has scored strong numbers for the network during the important ratings period for local TV stations, and bragging rights time for networks. Good Morning America has won the last two May sweeps in total viewers and in the news demo. Meanwhile, ABC World News Tonight finished the 2014 May sweep behind NBC Nightly News in both metrics; ABC’s evening newscast last won a May sweep in ’07.
During this morning’s GMA, George Stephanopoulos interviewed Jenner’s first wife, Chrystie Scott, in which she described him telling her he wanted to be a woman, one year into their marriage. She also described how “surreal” it was to watch the ABC interview with Jenner and his extended family last Friday night, and how “sad” he seemed after watching the interview with that gathering. Jenner had been seen in Friday’s interview telling Diane Sawyer that Scott probably was “the first one to know” he was struggling with gender identity.
Also on GMA this morning, ABC News ran footage of an interview conducted with children he had before his marriage to Kris Jenner, in which some of them described him being absent a lot while they were growing up.
Friday’s two-hour 20/20: Bruce Jenner – The Interview scored a 5.2/17 among adults 18-49 with 16.9 million total viewers tuned in. That’s the best 20/20 has done all season in what is one of the biggest non-awards show and non-sports event audiences on any network.
“He told me he always wanted to be a woman and, understandably, I was speechless. I didn’t really know what to say,” Scott said on GMA this morning.
Jenner and Scott were married in 1972; he took home the gold medal for the decathlon at the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal. ABC News noted Jenner was crowned an American hero, it the Cold War era, and endorsement deals and appearance opportunities poured in, as he became a nationwide brand, appearing in ads, in movies and on TV shows.