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Published January 21, 2013
OWN-ING UP: In L.A., Meg James noted Thursday’s airing of “Oprah and Lance Armstrong: The Worldwide Exclusive” attracted 4.3 million viewers to the Oprah Winfrey Network. The interview “delivered solid numbers to become OWN's highest-rated night ever” (LATIMES.com, 1/18). In Boston, Mark Perigard wrote Winfrey “proved herself to be a great interviewer -- setting Armstrong at ease, never going on the attack, asking straightforward, important questions.” But the two nights “should have been edited down to one special,” as it was “a lot to sit through with little payoff” (BOSTON HERALD, 1/19). In Tampa, Tom Jones gave Winfrey an “A for her interview” (TAMPA BAY TIMES, 1/20). In N.Y., Brian Stelter wrote the first half on Thursday “spurred a huge amount of chatter on social networking Web sites.” Research firm Bluefin Labs "found that an unofficial Twitter hashtag for the interview, #Doprah (a combination of doping and Oprah), was used more frequently than the one OWN encouraged, #OWNTV.” Data from Bluefin showed that about 61% of the Twitter comments about the interview "were from men.” OWN normally “skews much more toward women," with only 33% of Twitter comments about the channel "coming from men.” The audience for the interview also “skewed toward men” (NYTIMES.com, 1/18).
WHAT COMES NEXT? In N.Y., Juliet Macur noted USADA CEO Travis Tygart and WADA Dir General David Howman are “eager to see if Armstrong will come to them to testify under oath about his doping.” They want to see “if he is willing to provide details of how he doped and got away with it for so long.” Armstrong, by giving that information to antidoping authorities, “could help improve a sport fighting to rid itself of a dark cloud of doping” (N.Y. TIMES, 1/20).
GOING TO THE BIG SCREEN: A Paramount Pictures spokesperson on Friday said that the studio and J.J. Abrams' production company, Bad Robot, are “planning a biopic” about Armstrong. The AP’s Christy Lemire reported the two parties have “secured the rights” to Macur's upcoming book "Cycle of Lies: The Fall of Lance Armstrong," due out in June. No director, writer, star or start date “have been set” (AP, 1/19).