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'Highwire Live in Times Square with Nik Wallenda' finishes as night's No. 1 TV show

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Mon, Jun 24th 2019 04:30 pm
Nik Wallenda and his sister, Lijana, cross a highwire high above Times Square in Manhattan. (Walt Disney Television photos by Jeff Neira)
Nik Wallenda and his sister, Lijana, cross a highwire high above Times Square in Manhattan. (Walt Disney Television photos by Jeff Neira)

ABC’s Sunday primetime slate (7-11 p.m.) average 4.4 million viewers and netted a 0.7/4 in adults 18-49.

Boosted by “Highwire Live in Times Square with Nik Wallenda” from 8-10 p.m., ABC won Sunday night by 40% over its nearest competition with adults 18-49 (0.7/4 vs. 0.5/3 on NBC). 

Prior to the “Highwire Live” special from 7-8 p.m., ABC aired a repeat of “America’s Funniest Home Videos.” It followed the special shortly after 10 p.m. with an encore airing of the new game show “Holey Moley,” which had an impressive opening on Thursday night and exposed more viewers to its series debut.

Jumping over on its lead-in at 8 p.m. (by 33% and 60%), and building audience throughout its broadcast, ABC’s “Highwire Live in Times Square with Nik Wallenda” won its two-hour time period in viewers (5.2 million) and young adults (0.8/4), standing as Sunday’s No. 1 TV show among adults 18-49. “Highwire Live” built steadily throughout its telecast, surging by 3.1 million viewers (4.1 million to 7.2 million) and by 83% in adults 18-49 (0.6/3 to 1.1/5) from its first to final half-hour.

Coming off its strong start in its regular 8 p.m. slot this past Thursday where it drew 4.9 million viewers, ABC’s replay of the “Holey Moley” series debut telecast ranked No. 1 in the hour with adults 18-49 (0.7/4) and added 3.5 million more total viewers to bring its live + same day premiere total up to 8.4 million.

Lijana and Nik Wallenda (Walt Disney Television photo by Jeff Neira)

TV Special

ABC’s “King of the Highwire” live special featured Nik Wallenda and his sister, Lijana, seventh-generation members of the Wallenda family circus troupe. They took to the highwire for a never-before-attempted walk of approximately 1,300 feet long and 25 stories above street level, across New York City’s iconic Times Square.

This 1,300-foot-long walk took place 25 stories high between the famed 1 Times Square and 2 Times Square. Nik and Lijana started from opposite ends of the wire, met and crossed in the middle of Times Square (he walked over her), then continued to finish opposite of where they started.

The walk marked Lijana’s first highwire walk since the 2017 accident where she, along with four others, tragically fell 30 feet off a tightrope during a rehearsal.

Nik crossed Niagara Falls in a 2012 televised event.

Prior to the "Highwire Live in Times Square with Nik Wallenda" event, ABC showed video highlights of the Wallendas’ respective roads. The siblings were joined by Pastor Joel Osteen for a prayer, and then took to the highwire. Once on the rope, they communicated with each other, prayed some more, and she sung Christian songs.

Nick Wallenda on the highwire. (Walt Disney Television photo by Jeff Neira)

 

  • Ratings source: The Nielsen Company, Fast Affiliate Live + Same Day Ratings.

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