12.64 million viewers
What it is: Basically a half-hour 60 Minutes clip show where they played old interviews with artists nominated in the Grammy Awards that were about to air, specifically Beyoncé, Adele and Bruno Mars.
This 60 Minutes special unfortunately lays bare two flaws with the little project I’ve got going on this blog: The first is that excluding sports and special events from my TV reviews often causes me to miss the programming that actually gets the largest audience by far (as you can see from the link above, the Grammys themselves got over twice as many viewers as this special), and the second is that I’m currently behind on my reviews, since the Grammys aired over a month ago. Oh well!
This special also demonstrates the main flaw with 60 Minutes itself, which is that their earnest approach to in-depth news coverage often causes them to miss the thornier phenomena underlying the stories they’re digging into. Like when Steve Kroft tells Beyoncé, “You have a really sort of clean-cut, wholesome reputation, and then out there on the stage, you’re a seductress!” as though this is a mystifying contradiction and not an obvious example of the Madonna-whore complex. Or when Lara Logan beams at Bruno Mars’s endearing assertion that sharing a cramped shack with his hard-up family as a child was the best time of his life, and then doesn’t seem to recognize any irony later on when Mars sings “I want to be a billionaire so freakin’ bad” in his breakthrough single.