Some 14.78 million people watched Diane Sawyer's Sunday interview with Jaycee Dugard, who was kidnapped, raped and held prisoner for 18 years, in a special two-hour edition of Primetime — the biggest summer viewership for a newsmagazine in seven years.
The California woman's story is a compellingly harrowing tale: Just 11 when she was taken by Phillip and Nancy Garrido, she repeatedly was abused and gave birth to two children as a result of rape. Now 31, she has written a memoir titled A Stolen Life that's being published Tuesday by Simon & Schuster. (The couple who abducted her were recently sentenced to life in prison.)
According to overnight Nielsen estimates, viewership for the special more than tripled that of two reruns on ABC a week earlier. It was the most-watched summertime newsmagazine since a 2004 edition of 60 Minutes — and it was the most-watched non-sports Sunday prime-time program on ABC since February's Oscar telecast, nabbing a 3.7 rating among 18-to-49-year-olds.
ABC announced Monday that it will rerun the interview on Saturday at 9/8c.
Meantime, the first Sunday outing of Big Brother's 13th season on CBS grabbed 7.16 million in the 8/7c time slot against reruns, scoring a 2.5 demo ratings — its best first Sunday ever.
And The Curse of Seinfeld apparently is taking hold again as Jerry Seinfeld's The Marriage Ref managed a meager 2.04 million viewers (and series-low 0.8 demo rating) on NBC to finish last in prime time's final hour. It was down 33 percent from last week.