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Norah O’Donnell Interview With Pope Francis Leads 60 Minutes to 18% Ratings Jump

CBS Evening News anchor Norah O’Donnell sat down with Pope Francis for a historic interview that originally aired on Sunday, May 19 on 60 Minutes. This was the first time a pope has given an in-depth, one-on-one interview to a U.S. broadcast network. It also marked the 56th  season finale of the long-running CBS newsmagazine.

Among the topics discussed in the interview were same-sex marriage, clergy sexual abuse scandals, the wars in Ukraine and Gaza, and the migrant crisis on the U.S.-Mexico border.

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According to Nielsen Media Research, the May 19 edition of 60 Minutes averaged 7.33 million viewers. up +18 percent from its prior week and ranking first in the hour. It was its most-watched edition in five weeks, and the third-most watched within the past ten weeks, behind March Madness Elite-8-fueled Mar. 31 (10.365 million) and Masters golf-fueled Apr. 14 (8.588 million). 

One factor of the increase was what led into it: the final round of the major golf tournament, the PGA Championship (4.958 million for 1-7:14 PM ET, above average from a regular golf tournament audience).

A lengthier version of the interview Norah O’Donnell held with Pope Francis aired on CBS the following night on Monday, May 20 at 10 PM ET. That delivered an audience of 2.247 million viewers, which placed behind NBC’s Weakest Link (3.011 million) and Fox News’ Gutfeld! (2.871 million) within the hour.

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