Oprah's Lance Armstrong Interview Brings in 3.2 Million Viewers to OWN

UPDATED: The first part of the cyclist's doping confession nears a network ratings high, falling short of Winfrey's 2012 sit-down with Whitney Houston's family.

Viewers predictably flocked to OWN for Oprah Winfrey's interview with Lance Armstrong, in which the banned cyclist fulfilled a week's worth of media coverage about his admission to doping.

A whopping 3.2 million viewers watched Thursday's broadcast of Oprah's Next Chapter, OWN's flagship series of interviews with the titular host. The haul fell just 300,000 viewers shy of the series (and network) record.

Another 1.1 million viewers tuned in to a 10:30 p.m. encore, giving the interview a total of 4.3 million for the night.

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The two-year-old network always has seen its best ratings from Next Chapter. The March sit-down between Winfrey and the family of the late Whitney Houston remains the top performer with 3.5 million viewers. And an August visit with Rihanna raked in 2.5 million.

Since Oprah's Next Chapter regularly airs on Sunday, Thursday's special broadcast gave the network its best weekday showing ever in viewers and all demos. It was also the female-skewing cable network's best showing among men. The broadcast pulled a 1.9 rating with men 25-54, 1.6 with men 18-49 and a 1.0 with men 18-34.

The second part of Winfrey's interview with Armstrong airs at 9 p.m. Friday on OWN.