MavGyver and Magnum P.I. are not airing on Friday night, CBS has announced. The network has set aside those time slots to re-broadcast Oprah Winfrey's seminal interview of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. Oprah With Meghan and Harry: A CBS Primetime Special begins at 8 p.m. ET on Friday, March 12 on CBS.
CBS announced this scheduling shift on Wednesday, to some fans' frustration. The new episodes of MacGyver and Magnum P.I. have now been moved to Friday, March 26th in their usual time slots. Instead, this week will be devoted to the historic interview that shocked the world and may have rumbled the reputation of British royalty forever. With millions of viewers catching up on the interview after its initial premiere, it makes sense that CBS wants to find time to air it again.
Oprah with Meghan and Harry was a massive Nielsen ratings win when it premiered on Sunday, with 17.8 million live viewers. According to CBS, another 49.1 million people have watched the interview on streaming services or DVR recordings since then, and that number is still growing at a rapid pace. The interview had the largest primetime audience for any entertainment event since the 2020 Oscar Awards in February of 2020.
CBS is likely trying to maximize the success of the interview after paying a seven-figure licensing fee to obtain it. According to a report by The Wall Street Journal, the network paid between $7 million and $9 million for the broadcasting rights, which were held by Winfrey's company Harpo Productions. A 30-second advertisement during the interview cost $325,000.
Markle and Prince Harry were not paid for the interview, in an effort to avoid accusations of ulterior motives. The couple dropped some bombshell news about the royal family and the treatment they received during their time at Buckingham Palace. While the gist of those revelations has circulated in headlines all week, viewers continue to seek out the full story in Markle and Prince Harry's own words.
Among the revelations were the facts that Markle ran herself ragged trying to comply with royal protocol without receiving any help from within, and that the "institution" of the monarchy seemed to offer her no publicity help or protection as they did with other royals. She revealed that her isolation and loneliness ravaged her mental health until she was suicidal, and even then she was denied the chance to seek treatment.0comments
Meanwhile, Prince Harry revealed that someone within the monarchy had raised concerns about "how dark" their child's skin would be, around the same time that royal titles and privileges were removed from him. He was also furious about the loss of their security detail, feeling that they were being left vulnerable to attacks from stalkers or extremists.
Viewers can hear all of this and more and the couple's own words when the interview re-broadcasts. Oprah with Meghan and Harry airs on Friday, March 12 at 8 p.m. ET on CBS. Disclosure: PopCulture is owned by CBS Interactive, a division of ViacomCBS.