Ratings: ABC's Tightrope Walker Stomps on Competition, Disney Flick Shines Fine

Niagara Falls Tightrope Walk 2012ABC’s coverage of Nik Wallenda’s highwire walk over the precipice at Niagara Falls found very firm footing on Friday night, racing past all comers with an average of 8.7 million total viewers and a 2.1 rating while scoring a few superlatives along the way.

Opening the night for the Alphabet network, Countdown to Niagara: The Greatest Megastunts of All Time drew 5.7 million viewers and a 1.2 rating.

Then from 9 to 11 pm, Megastunts: Highwire Over Niagara Falls – Live! captivated 10.1 million total viewers while netting a 2.5 rating, more than doubling second-place Dateline (4.8 mil/1.2) on both counts.

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The live two-hour special surrounding Wallenda’s precarious promenade stands as the most-watched non-sports summertime telecast on the major networks since at least 2006, and gave ABC its largest audience in that Friday block in more than 5-1/2 years.

All told, ABC enjoyed its most-watched Friday since November 2007.

Also filed under “Things Matt And/Or His Sons Watched Last Night”: Disney Channel’s Let It Shine premiered to 5.7 million total viewers and emerged as the year-to-date’s No. 1 TV-movie amongst Kids 2-11, Kids 6-11 and Tweens 9-14.

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17 Comments
  1. Mick says:

    I wonder how Let It Shine did in comparison to Rags.

  2. big cheddar says:

    The highwire stunt was fun to watch, if only to see Nik both praise Jesus and call himself a j**k**f in the same breath on live TV. Something tells me that the next live megastunt will be performed with a 7 second delay.

    • TV Gord says:

      After being raised Catholic, I am no longer a religious person (I’ll let y’all connect the dots on that one ;-). I have to say, though, it was cool to hear Jesus mentioned in prime time for all of the admirable Christians I know. It helps to balance out all of the times when religion is brought up in media only as a negative thing.

      • Rosie says:

        Agree, and have been disappointed with some shows in recent weeks who have used the name of Jesus Christ, and G-D as swear words in their scripts.. it is very offensive!! One of these networks prides itself on being tolerant of all people. I guess the exceptions are Jews and Christians.

  3. rikes says:

    I thought Let it Shine was good. My entire family loved it

  4. Harveys1 says:

    Some of us would consider the stunt a sport. It’s not really that different than a gymnist.

  5. AJ says:

    Can’t wait to see him walk a mile long wire over the Grand Canyon. At first I thought it would not be interesting, but I was definitely wrong about that. Once I saw the wire was soaking wet in the middle and how bad the wind was moving the wire I was really impressed.

  6. Angela says:

    I missed the highwire walk, but man, I can’t believe the guy actually managed to do it successfully. Just the thought leaves me dizzy and scared. So good for him for being able to do it and have it work out.

  7. jaynecobb2 says:

    isn’t Rags and Let it Shine basically the same movie

    • Mick says:

      Rags= Cinderella, Let it Shine=Cyrano de Bergerac

      • bkwrm says:

        I’m kind of ashamed to admit that I didn’t figure out they were doing Cyrano de Bergerac until there was 15 minutes left of the movie (Roxie=Roxanne; DUH!)

        I was shocked how much I liked Let it Shine and I am way out of its target audience.

  8. Jared says:

    I also enjoyed LET IT SHINE..and I am also out of Disney’s target demo..

  9. Rosie says:

    Great Job Nic Wallenda!!!! I enjoyed watching him succeed, it was inspiring! It was scary when he got into the wet and windy place!

  10. Doug-H says:

    What a terrific sight!!! Niagara Falls at night is something to see in person from the ground but even better from the air shots ABC had!!!! I stayed in that Marriot Hotel near the Falls a few years back that you could see the sign for overlooking the Falls… What a view I would have had!!!

  11. Sable says:

    The wire walk was fascinating. I was around when his great-grandfather Karl Wallenda fell to his death doing a wire walk between two hotels in Puerto Rico. In 1978, they didn’t use a safety harness and the gusting wind caused his fall. During Nick’s walk, I jokingly told my son that I wondered if they would ask to see his passport when he finished the walk in Canada and laughed when I saw that they actually did and that he had carried it across in his pocket. Karl’s fatal wirewalk is up in You Tube.

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