According to TV Newser on Saturday, “Barbara Walters: Her Story” on Friday night brought ABC’s highest total viewer audience in two years. The totals include 9.3 million viewers and 2.3 million demo viewers watched as the woman who had a career of over 50 years interviewing people was interviewed herself by longtime producing partner Bill Geddie.
Walters, 84, was quite transparent as she answered questions about her personal life and career. She indicated that she was a lonely child growing up and how she never thought she was beautiful. On a scale from 1-10, she told Farrah Fawcett she rated herself at a 5 or 6 while Fawcett rated herself at a 9. The iconic journalist confessed she tried to look like Audrey Hepburn during her early years. She talked about her older mentally challenged sister, Jacqueline, and how she adopted a daughter and named her Jacqueline after her sister. The adoption came after three miscarriages. Walters was married four times to three different men. She married one man twice and divorced him twice.
Walters recounted her early career as a journalist and how Harry Reasoner didn't want her working with him. Her career took off when she began doing her own specials. Throughout Friday night's two-hour special with Walters, there were flashbacks to her most memorable interviews with presidents, heads of states, celebrities and more. She interviewed every president and first lady from President Richard and Pat Nixon up to the President Barack and Michelle Obama whom she interviewed three times. Viewers saw Walters interviewing people as they walked together, in cars, on airplanes, on boats, in prison and she interviewed Cher as the two of them sat on a bed. She shared that when she interviewed first lady Betty Ford in her kitchen she knew Mrs. Ford was inebriated. Soon after the interview, the Betty Ford clinic opened.
Walters has the reputation of making people cry during interviews. Several people were shown crying when Walters asked them about their upbringing; especially in reference to their fathers. She pointed out some interviews that have stood out among the others. Viewers saw footage from Walters’ work on “The Today Show,” “ABC Evening News,” “20/20,” various Barbara Walters Specials, the “10 Most Fascinating People” specials, and “The View.” Before the special was over, Walters took viewers into her home where she pointed out walls of photographs of dignitaries and celebrities.
It's no wonder "Barbara Walters: Her Story" was such a hit on ABC. It took viewers into the life of Walters that had never been seen before.