Conan O’Brien’s much-talked about interview on 60 Minutes was a boon to CBS; the network won the night in viewers (10.9 million), according to preliminary results. The newsmagazine averaged 12.5 million in its first half-hour and jumped to 14.1 million in its second, thanks to Steve Kroft’s interview with TBS’ newest late-night star. The show was up 8 percent in viewers (roughly one million) versus the same time last year and also topped the hour in the all-important adults 18-49 demographic.
Though Fox aired a repeat of The Simpsons at 7:30 p.m., 60 Minutes was up against originals on the competing networks.
ABC still won the night among adults 18-49 while CBS was second. In viewers, ABC was second with 9.0 million, followed by NBC (6.2 million) and Fox (5.1) million. The interview — which was O’Brien’s first since leaving NBC and signing onto TBS — aired on the very day his contractual muzzle expired (as part of his exit deal with NBC, O’Brien agreed not to give any interviews in print or broadcast until after May 1).