Barbara Walters A Big Ratings Draw for ABC on Day of Retirement Celebrations


Barbara Walters was a sizable ratings attraction for ABC on Friday, as the news legend’s retirement from daily television duties drove “The View” to one of its largest audiences ever and a primetime special on her career dominated its time period.

According to Nielsen, Walters signed off from “The View” before an average audience of 5.2 million, making it the 17-year program’s fourth largest audience ever. The show’s biggest crowd ever was the 6.63 million who tuned in for President Obama’s first appearance on the show in July 2010.

It also did well in key demos, with Friday’s hour hitting 18-month highs in both women 18-49 (818,000, 1.3 rating) and women 25-54 (1.0 million, 1.6 rating).

Walters’ exit from “The View” on Friday capped a weeklong celebration. Thursday’s telecast, which drew 4.2 million viewers, featured all 11 co-hosts of the show over the years: Meredith Vieira, Star Jones, Joy Behar…

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