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Oprah gets to 4.3 million with Lance, as viewers finally find her channel

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By Noel Young, Correspondent

January 18, 2013 | 3 min read

The first part of Lance Armstrong’s doping confession to Oprah Winfrey drew about 4.3 million viewers to her cable channel OWN on Thursday night, according to preliminary Nielsen ratings .

Lance and Oprah:best yet for OWN

About 3.17 million watched the first telecast at 9 p.m. on Thursday. The repeat at 10:30 p.m brought in another 1.12 million, making the total unduplicated audience 4.3 million, according to a spokeswoman for the channel.

But the NewYork Times pointed out , "That’s a great result by OWN’s standards, but not by Ms. Winfrey’s historical standards. Some of her interviews on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” scored upward of 10 million viewers.

"Her biggest, a primetime interview with Michael Jackson, brought 62 million viewers to the ABC broadcast network in 1993."

Some viewers had a hard time finding OWN on their cable lineups, said the NYT. There were many online searches about the channel.

"But enough viewers found it to make the Armstrong interview the highest-rated telecast in OWN’s two-year history, at least when all of Thursday’s telecasts are counted as one."

The highest-rated programme previously on OWN was Oprah's interview with Whitney Houston’s daughter, Bobbi Kristina last March, a month after Whitney died. That brought in 3.5 million viewers .

The second part of the Armstrong interview goes out tonight. Originally, Oprah’s producers were going to edit the two-and-a-half hours down to 90 minutes.

It was “impossible to try to cut 80 minutes out,” Oprah said on CBS., “We felt that to leave over half of this on the cutting room floor after millions of people have been waiting for years for many of these answers would not be the right thing to do.”

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