Ratings: Oprah Plus Obama Equals Success

The president’s chat with Winfrey draws nearly 12 million viewers for ABC. An earlier “60 Minutes” interview does even better

Last Updated: December 14, 2009 @ 6:04 PM

President Obama’s Sunday night media blitz produced solid ratings Sunday, as interviews with "60 Minutes" and Oprah Winfrey both drew a crowd.

It’s too soon to spell out exact numbers for Steve Kroft’s "60 Minutes" chat with the president, since football coverage delayed the start of the newsmagazine by around 20 minutes in the eastern and central time zone.

However, from 7:30-8:30 p.m., with "60 Minutes" filling most of that hour, CBS averaged 14.6 million viewers and averaged a 3.1/6 in adults 18-49. Since the Obama interview was at the top of the "60 Minutes" broadcast, it’s likely the president actually attracted even better ratings.

Later in the night, ABC’s "Christmas With the White House," airing at 10 p.m., also did well. The Winfrey-hosted special notched a 2.8/7 and 11.8 million total viewers. It held on to most of its demo lead-in from "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" and actually added viewers.

As usual, NBC dominated Sunday, winning the night with football coverage. ABC and CBS were neck-and-neck for second place in adults 18-49. Fox’s animation block was down from recent weeks but still was solid for the night.