More than 16.8 million people tuned in Friday night to watch the ABC News television special in which Bruce Jenner said he identified as a woman, according to preliminary ratings data provided by the network.
Jenner, the Olympic gold medalist and longtime member of the Kardashian family, told Diane Sawyer during the interview that he was making the transition to female from male.
“For all intents and purposes, I am a woman,” he said. “People look at me differently. They see this macho male, but this female side is part of me, it’s who I am. I was not genetically born that way.” For the purpose of the interview, Jenner said he preferred to use the pronoun “he.”
The wide-ranging two-hour interview appeared during a special edition of ABC’s “20/20” news program. It attracted a much larger audience than the average episode of “20/20,” which is about 6.2 million.
The highly promoted interview was noteworthy because Jenner is among the most prominent people to come out as transgender. He said that the transition, which has captured headlines, was not a publicity stunt.