60 Minutes’ highly anticipated “candidates” broadcast, featuring Lesley Stahl’s interview with President Trump that was “cut short” by the president and Norah O’Donnell‘s interview with Joe Biden, earned 16.8 million total viewers from 7:30-8:30 p.m. ET Sunday, according to early Fast National data from Nielsen.
That total represents the largest audience for a 60 Minutes broadcast since March 25, 2018 (the Stormy Daniels interview with Anderson Cooper – 22.06 million), and matched the Dec. 16, 2018 broadcast (Taking Aim at Opioids/Plastic Plague ) for the best adults 25-54 delivery.
All of this, despite Trump’s decision to post the unedited version of the interview days in advance.
Excluding sports and multinetwork programming (charity fundraisers and political debates), this is the largest audience for a broadcast on any network since ABC’s broadcast of the Oscars on Feb. 9.
Final Nielsen ratings for Sunday night’s episode of 60 Minutes will be provided once they are released tomorrow.
*UPDATE: 60 Minutes announces Tuesday afternoon that according to Nielsen live-plus-same-day data, 17.4 million viewers watched Sunday night’s broadcast, up from the previously-reported 16.8 million. The 2020 “candidates” broadcast is now the most-watched broadcast of 60 since March 2018, the most-watched non-sports program since the Oscars back in February, and the No. 1 prime time show of the week.