How 60 Minutes Did In The Ratings With Donald Trump's Early Interview Exit

60 minutes cbs donald trump
(Image credit: CBS)

President Donald Trump sat down with Lesley Stahl on CBS' 60 Minutes for an interview ahead of the 2020 presidential election, but the interview didn't go as planned. Trump walked out of the interview with Stahl early, and news of the abrupt ending spread across the internet days before the full interview aired on October 25. Now, the numbers are in to reveal how many people tuned in to see the full interview that ended with Trump's early exit, as well as featured interviews with presidential candidate Joe Biden and more.

17 million viewers tuned in to see the election edition of 60 Minutes, complete with Donald Trump's early exit, according to Deadline. The broadcast scored an impressive rating of 2.4 rating in the valuable 18-49 age demographic, and an even higher 3.4 in the 25-54 demo. These numbers are totaled despite 60 Minutes starting 40 minutes late, due to Sunday Night Football on CBS running long.

To put these numbers in context, this episode of 60 Minutes attracted the largest audience on any network since the 2020 Academy Awards, which aired all the way back in February. The Academy Awards' audience was admittedly significantly higher, with a total of 23.6 million, but that was also an all-time low for the film awards broadcast.

The night of October 25 was also packed with big TV options. Sunday Night Football preceded 60 Minutes, so there was no competition on that front. That said, Game 5 of the 2020 World Series aired on Fox, and early numbers of 7.41 million and 1.7 rating indicate that viewers were a lot more interested in baseball on October 25 than viewers earlier in the MLB race toward the championship. ABC stuck with its new Sunday lineup, including Leslie Jones' Supermarket Sweep and Jimmy Kimmel's Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.

Despite the competition on Sunday night, 60 Minutes' odds of strong ratings were good, even without the much talked-about walkout from Donald Trump. The election episode aired less than two weeks ahead of Election Day, and featured additional appearances from incumbent Vice President Mike Pence (with no fly interruptions) as well as Joe Biden and VP candidate Kamala Harris.

That said, although the 17 million viewers and 2.4 rating in the key demo are undeniably impressive, they still fall short of what 60 Minutes scored in a previous episode during Donald Trump's term. The much-hyped 2018 interview with Stormy Daniels, the porn star who alleged an affair with Trump, accumulated an audience of more than 22 million and a 4.0 rating in 18-49.

Still, the 2020 election has generated strong ratings throughout the fall, with the first presidential debate in late September resulting in wins across every broadcast network that aired the two-hour event. If you're in the market for some viewing options not involving politics and/or that hit the airwaves after the election, be sure to check out our 2020 fall TV premiere schedule. If streaming is more your style, swing by our 2020 Netflix premiere schedule!

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. Will not time travel, but will sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation.