Oprah Winfrey certainly did not have to beg viewers to tune into OWN Sunday night.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Oprah’s Next Chapter scored 3.5 million viewers as she interviewed Whitney Houston‘s family, including daughter Bobbi Kristina.
The episode takes the No. 1 spot as the network’s most watched telecast, building a larger audience every half hour. The special was announced just a week before its airing.
Although full cable reports will not be released until Tuesday, it is likely the episode will remain among the top 5 broadcasts.
Despite a dismal start, OWN has reported a substantial year over year growth in the month of February, growing an average of 12 percent in primetime and 29 percent for the total day.
“I refuse to be discouraged. This is the thing about being well-known and trying to do anything,” she told TV Guide when asked about OWN’s future.
“When I did The Color Purple, Steven Spielberg taught me you can’t believe the good [press] unless you’re also willing to believe the bad. That’s a powerful lesson for not getting distracted by praise — or criticism. You can’t allow either of them to affect your vision of what you know is true for you. That’s exactly how I feel right now. My thing is stay on course so you can stay the course.”