ABC’s ’20/20′ Special ‘Prince: Death of a Legend’ Tops Ratings on Friday

'EDITORIAL USE ONLY' Mandatory Credit: Photo by REX/Shutterstock (1273787av) Prince Prince in concert, Welcome To America Tour, Madison Square Garden, New York, America - 18 Jan 2011
‘EDITORIAL USE ONLY’
Mandatory Credit: Photo by REX/Shutterstock (1273787av)
Prince
Prince in concert, Welcome To America Tour, Madison Square Garden, New York, America – 18 Jan 2011

Despite facing a competing NBC news special on the death of pop superstar Prince, ABC’s “20/20” special “Prince: Death of a Legend” stood as Friday’s top draw in key demos. 

In Nielsen’s preliminary national estimates, “20/20” (1.3 rating/5 share in adults 18-49, 5.7 million viewers overall) shot up 30% (0.3) week to week in 18-49, winning its hour over NBC’s “Dateline” special “Prince: Life & Death of an Icon” (0.9/4 in 18-49, 4.0 million viewers overall), which was down slightly from last week. It was Friday’s No. 1 program in both 18-49 and the key news demo of adults 25-54 (1.8/6)

CBS was competitive in the demos (0.9/3 in 18-49, 1.3/4 in 25-54) and led the 10 o’clock hour hour in total viewers (7.6 million) with a repeat of “Blue Bloods.”

The ABC special, anchored by Elizabeth Vargas, featured reporting from Dan Harris from Prince’s home in Minneapolis, Chris Connelly in Los Angeles and Deborah Roberts in New York. Among those interviewed was Prince’s longtime hair stylist Kim Berry, who said the singer was “incredibly smart” and a “kind of mystical guy.”

NBC’s hour was anchored by Lester Holt from Los Angeles, with reporting from Harry Smith, Andrea Canning, Cynthia McFadden, Josh Mankiewicz and Natalie Morales.

Networks across the dial have been paying tributes to Prince, who died Thursday morning at his estate in Minneapolis, with Friday’s specials to be followed this weekend by others on OWN, NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” and others.

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Source: Variety | Rick Kissell