Gabrielle Giffords ABC Special Draws Huge Audience; Sandusky Interview Bumps Ratings For NBC's 'Rock Center'

11/15/2011 04:07 pm ET

ABC's exclusive sit-down with Rep. Gabby Giffords drew impressive ratings for the network.

Giffords and her husband Mark Kelly spoke to Diane Sawyer Monday night on a special edition of ABC's "20/20." Sawyer landed Gifford's first interview since the horrific shootings in Tuscon, Arizona that left the congresswoman with a near-fatal head injury.

The special, which aired at 10:00 p.m., drew a total of 13.4 million viewers. This was ABC's highest rated newsmagazine telecast since July 2011, when Sawyer sat down with Jaycee Dugard.

The exclusive interview dominated the hour, surpassing CBS's "Hawaii 5-0" and far outpacing NBC's "Rock Center With Brian Williams," the competing newsmagazine program.

"Rock Center," however, had a big night of its own. NBC's Bob Costas landed an exclusive phone interview with Jerry Sandusky, the former assistant coach for Penn State's football program who was charged with 40 counts of sexual abuse of minors.

"Rock Center" pulled in 4.5 million viewers. The show substantially boosted its audience from last week, bringing in roughly 1 million additional viewers Monday night.

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