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Babs Cooks Up Big Numbers Bringing Swayze Family to Tears

Interest is very high among TV critics at I Think I'll Just Take Some of These Dinner Rolls Home to Feed My Hungry Children Winter TV Press Tour 2009 over Friday's promised appearance of Patrick Swayze.

Pancreatic cancer-stricken Patrick Swayze will be among the panelists at a Q&A session to promote his new A&E series, "The Beast."

Patrick Swayze, left, and his wife, Lisa Niemi, talk with Barbara Walters at their California ranch. (AP Photo/ABC, Ron Tom)

So naturally, we wondered how many people would watch ABC's broadcast of Swayze's interview with Barbara "Cry Me A River" Walters Wednesday night.

Turns out, nearly 13 million people -- the night's biggest draw and ABC's biggest audience in the night's 10 p.m. hour since last May -- watched Babs work her tear-jerking magic on Swayze's wife of three decades, Lisa Niemi, asking her things like if she'd thought about what her life is going to be like once Patrick is, you know, dead.

Babs also tried her darndest to get Swayze to weep, but we think she did not succeed, though we can't be sure, what with one thing or another distracting us during the broadcast -- dog insisting on be chased around sofa, emails to be answered, etc. We can report that Babs finally resorted to showing footage of her 1988 interview with Swayze in which he did, in fact, weep buckets when she peppered him with questions about his dad -- who had just died.

By Lisa de Moraes  |  January 8, 2009; 2:56 PM ET
Categories:  Winter TV Press Tour 2009  
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