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TV Ratings: Dueling Beyonce Specials Bring Big Numbers to HBO and OWN

UPDATED: The singer's documentary is the cable network's most-watched documentary effort in nearly 10 years, while her sitdown with Oprah Winfrey rakes in 1.3 million viewers at an earlier hour.

Beyonce Life is but a Dream Poster - P 2013
HBO
Beyonce in "Life is But a Dream"

Beyonce was good business for cable networks on Saturday night.

HBO's intimate documentary about the singer, Beyonce: Life Is but a Dream, pulled 1.8 million viewers during its inaugural outing at 9 p.m. ET. It's the largest audience for a HBO doc since Nielsen revised its method of measuring viewership in 2004.

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The only other documentary to approach Beyonce's haul was previous record holder When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts. The Spike Lee miniseries about the devastation caused to New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina earned 1.7 million viewers in 2006.

Life Is but a Dream's handsome haul pulled three times the ratings of recent first-runs for HBO's Sunday series Girls.

Beyonce's presence was also felt on OWN. The recently ubiquitous multi-hyphenate sat down for a new episode of Oprah's Next Chapter. The one-hour interview, premiering at 8 p.m., averaged just above 1.3 million viewers.

Topping all of ad-supported cable's non-sports programs in the targeted women 25-54 demographic in the time period.