That’s ABC News’ biggest crowd since its Caitlyn Jenner interview in April 2015. It’s also a 3.6 million-viewer improvement on ABC’s previous week performance in the Sunday 10 PM time slot where Comey’s pre-taped interview aired.
But Comey’s 20/20 special interview with George Stephanopoulos was no match for porn star Stormy Daniels. Her late-March 60 Minutes tell-all, about her alleged affair with Trump about a decade before his election, copped 21.3 million Live+Same Day viewers, becoming that CBS franchise’s most watched episode since Steve Kroft’s interview with Barack and Michelle Obama in November 2008, shortly after he was elected president.
In fairness, Daniels enjoyed a NCAA Final Four game lead-in that went into overtime. Comey’s first sit-down in service of promoting his new book A Higher Loyalty out tomorrow, had to self-start off a sluggish American Idol lead-in (1.3, 6.3M).
Opposite CBS’ ACM Awards, Idol set a new low for a regular episode in 18-49, a 1.3. Former FBI Director Comey actually did better than Idol at attracting viewers in the 18-49 age bracket, with a 1.7 rating. In the 25-54 news demo, the Comey sit-down clocked 2.4 rating.
Comey’s interview also was no match for CBS’s ACM Awards in same time slot. CBS’ three-hour country-music awards broadcast (2.1, 12.08M) was flat versus last year in the demo and climbed by 1.2 million viewers. That’s success in a season that’s seen the Oscars slide by 6.4 million viewers, the Grammys by 6.3 million, and the Golden Globes by 1 million.
ACM-laden CBS (1.8, 11.66M) took Sunday night. Comey-featuring ABC (1.4, 7.12M) followed with a five-week high on the evening. Fox (0.7, 1.69M) followed, then NBC (0.6, 4.0M).