Oprah Interview With Meghan, Harry Draws 17 Million Viewers
The royal couple jolly gingers, gingerbread men and other goodies sit in this arranged photo in London. (Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg)

Oprah Interview With Meghan, Harry Draws 17 Million Viewers

Oprah Winfrey’s interview with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle drew more than 17 million viewers on CBS, attracting the sort of massive audience typically reserved for major sporting events.

CBS, owned by ViacomCBS Inc., aired the two-hour prime-time special Sunday night. The network acquired the rights from Winfrey’s Harpo Productions and sold advertising during the interview.

Oprah Interview With Meghan, Harry Draws 17 Million Viewers

An audience of that size is rare on TV these days. It shows America’s continuing fascination with the British royal family, along with Winfrey’s power to corral interview subjects who can capture the nation’s attention.

In the interview, the couple criticized the royal family for not supporting them in the face of negative tabloid coverage. They told Winfrey they faced racist questions about the color of their baby’s skin and had lost their security detail after stepping away from royal duties. Amid all the turmoil, Markle, a biracial former actress from the U.S., told Winfrey that she had considered suicide.

“I regret believing them when they said I would be protected,” Markle told Winfrey.

The audience was the largest for an entertainment special in prime time since the Academy Awards last year and was CBS’s most live-streamed program besides the NFL this season, according to the network. The interview went head-to-head with ABC’s “American Idol” and more than tripled that show’s viewership.

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