The two-hour interview averaged 17.1 million viewers Friday, the second night of the May ratings period. In the chat with Diane Sawyer, Jenner announced that he had wrestled with gender identity for decades and considered himself a woman.
The talk had been conducted in February but held till the ratings period, a strategy that paid off handsomely for the Disney-owned network.
ABC easily won the night in total viewers and was the victor in the 18-to-49 age group by a wide margin. ABC had its most-watched Friday since January 2003.
ABC started the night with "Shark Tank," which drew 7.9 million viewers, according to ratings released Monday.
With the 18-to-49 age group, ABC scored a 4.1 rating. Second-place CBS put up a 1.1 rating. The Jenner interview posted a 5.2 rating with the 18-to-49 age group; it scored an impressive 6.5 rating with the 25-to-54 age group.
NBC aired "Grimm" (4.7 million) and a two-hour "Dateline" (4.4 million).