The two-hour broadcast, hosted by Diane Sawyer, centred on Jenner's acknowledgment that he's transitioning into a woman. It was seen by 17.1 million viewers.
But not far beyond this "big event" program was CBS' "The Big Bang Theory," a long-dependable hit that drew 14.6 million to take second place, according to the Nielsen company. It was followed by ABC's "Dancing With the Stars" and the Tuesday edition of NBC's "The Voice."
For the week in prime time, CBS was the champ for the ninth consecutive week, averaging 8.4 million viewers. ABC had 7.4 million viewers, while NBC had 5.5 million, Fox had 3.4 million, Univision had 2.6 million, the CW had 1.6 million, Telemundo had 1.5 million and ION Television had 1.1 million.
TNT was the week's most popular cable network, averaging 2.8 million viewers in prime time. Fox News Channel followed with 1.7 million, and TBS had 1.6 million.
In the evening-news wars, NBC's "Nightly News" lost to ABC for the fourth straight week after years as ratings leader. ABC's "World News Tonight" averaged 8.2 million viewers to 8.1 million for "Nightly News" as that newscast, with Lester Holt filling in, continued to suffer from anchor limbo in the wake of Brian Williams' continuing suspension. "World News Tonight" has logged an 11 per cent gain in total viewers over this time last year, while "Nightly" is down 3 per cent.
"The CBS Evening News" finished third with 6.8 million viewers last week.
For the week of April 20-26, the top 10 shows, their networks and viewerships: "20/20," ABC, 17.1 million; "The Big Bang Theory," CBS, 14.6 million; "Dancing With the Stars," ABC, 13.4 million; "The Voice" (Tuesday), NBC, 11.3 million; "Scorpion," CBS, 10.7 million; "The Voice" (Monday), NBC, 10.6 million; "Madam Secretary," CBS, 10.5 million; "60 Minutes," CBS, 10.4 million; "NCIS," CBS, 10.194 million; "Survivor," CBS, 10.192 million.
ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Co. CBS is owned by CBS Corp. CW is a joint venture of Warner Bros. Entertainment and CBS Corp. Fox is owned by 21st Century Fox. NBC and Telemundo are owned by Comcast Corp. ION Television is owned by ION Media Networks.