Gayle King’s intense interview with accused sex predator and pop singer R. Kelly won the Friday primetime ratings race, scoring a 1.2/6 demo triumph among adults 18-49 and 6.60 million total viewers, toppling Fox’s Last Man Standing from its usual perch atop the evening.
King’s interview had been well-previewed in the days before it aired, with controversial scenes of R. Kelly’s gesticulating fury in the face of King’s hard questions and calm demeanor making the sit-down a must-see.
The King interview allowed CBS to coast to an easy overall victory among networks with a 1.0/5 and 7.36 million audience. A returning Hawaii Five-0 was greeted with an 0.9/5 and 7.24 million total audience, up a tick in demos after last week’s two-hours of reruns. Rounding out the CBS night was Blue Bloods, which also had upward movement with an 0.9/5 and 8.24 million audience.
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Despite not winning the night, Last Man Standing did well, holding at a 1.0/5 and 5.40 total audience. The Fox 9 PM sitcom The Cool Kids also held its numbers, doing a 0.7/4 and 3.89 million, but legal drama Proven Innocent continued to struggle, hitting an 0.4/2 and 1.90 million total audience, down a tick from its previous score.
At ABC, Fresh Off The Boat held at 0.6/3 and 3.89 million, with Speechless also hanging in there with an 0.4/2 and 2.24 million. ABC’s 20/20 was again the night’s newsmag leader in its two-hour format, toasting the opposition with an 0.7/3 and 4.03 million, making it the victor against the competition for the tenth week in a row despite heading down a tick on its demos.
NBC’s Blindspot (0.5/3 and 3.15) and The Blacklist (0.5/3 and 3.81) were both down, but Dateline managed to hold at an 0.6/3 and 3.25 million audience.
Reruns dominated at The CW, with Whose Line Is It Anyway? scoring an 0.2/1 and 0.93 million and Penn and Teller: Fool Us hitting an 0.2/1 and 0.91 million on the night.
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