October 04, 2011 1:17pm PT by Sophie Schillaci
Andy Rooney's Final Broadcast Draws Largest October Audience Since 2007
Andy Rooney left 60 Minutes with a bang on Sunday, drawing the largest October audience for the CBS newsmagazine in four years.
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With 17.11 million viewers tuning in, 60 Minutes ranked No. 4 for the week, according to Nielsen live plus seven day ratings. The last time 60 Minutes drew that many viewers during an October broadcast was on Sunday, Oct. 14, 2007, with 17.23 million.
The hour-long program featured a segment in which Morley Safer interviewed 92-year-old Rooney about his lengthy career with the network, followed by his 1,097th original essay. Rooney told viewers in his final commentary that his retirement was a moment he wasn't looking forward to.
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"This is a moment I have dreaded," he said. "I wish I could do this forever."
While Rooney’s final sign-off was likely the main attraction of the evening, he wasn’t the sole subject of interest. Bob Simon reported on the “sinister city” relationship between a California town and a small Japanese city struck by the earthquake and tsunami, and Lara Logan profiled free-solo climber Alex Honnold, who climbs rock wall formations as large as skyscrapers using no safety devices, but only his hands and feet.