The George Stephanopoulos interview on Sunday with James Comey certainly generated big headlines — like how Donald Trump is “morally unfit to be president” — but it didn’t have the same ratings impact as Stormy Daniels. Sad!
The ABC News exclusive averaged 9.8 million and a 1.7 rating in the adult demo from 1o to 11 p.m. ET — the network’s biggest interview telecast in three years since Diane Sawyer’s interview with Caitlyn Jenner in April 2015, according to Nielsen results — but it paled in comparison to Daniels’ appearance on 60 Minutes last month, which attracted 21.3 million viewers and a 4.0 rating among adults 18-49. That was the best performance by the show since Nov. 16, 2008, when then President-elect Barack Obama and his wife Michelle Obama appeared on 60 Minutes in their first post-election interview.
Comey’s appearance wasn’t exactly fresh; juicy excerpts from his book “A Higher Loyalty” began circulating before his appearance on ABC. And Donald Trump got his Twitter digs in before the interview aired, writing things like, “I never asked Comey for Personal Loyalty. I hardly even knew this guy. Just another of his many lies. His ‘memos’ are self serving and FAKE!”
It also didn’t help that a weakened Idol was Comey’s lead-in. The show posted a season low rating of 1.3 among adults (down from 1.5) and a mere 6.3 million viewers, down from 7.2 million. Was it because of competition from CBS’ telecast of Academy of Country Music Awards? Maybe; the awards show that featured tributes to the Las Vegas shooting victims averaged a respectable 12.1 million viewers and a 2.1 rating, according to preliminary results.
But the biggest wallop probably came from the season 8 finale of The Walking Dead on AMC. Those ratings will come out tomorrow.