ABC's 'Megastunts' Draws Mega Ratings on Friday Night; Network's Most Watched Friday Since November 2007

Categories: Network TV Press Releases

Written By

June 16th, 2012

via press release:

With coverage surrounding Nik Wallenda’s highwire walk directly over the precipice at Niagara Falls, ABC won Friday evening by huge margins over its nearest competitors with Total Viewers (+89% - 8.7 million vs. 4.6 million - CBS), Adults 18-49 (+110% - 2.1/8 vs. 1.0/4 - NBC) and Adults 25-54 (+117% - 2.6/8 vs. 1.2/4 - NBC). ABC’s night was anchored by Josh Elliott and ESPN’s Hannah Storm, and featured reporting from Elliott, Storm, Bill Weir and Sam Champion.


  • · ABC marked its most-watched Friday since November 2007 (11/30/07).


During the 8 o’clock hour, ABC’s Countdown to Niagara: The Greatest Megastunts of All Time led its competition in Total Viewers (5.7 million), Adults 18-49 (1.2/5) and Adults 25-54 (1.5/6).


From 9-11pm, ABC’s Megastunts: Highwire Over Niagara Falls – Live! ranked as Friday’s #1 TV program overall and dominated its competition, more than doubling the delivery of NBC’s 2-hour Dateline in Total Viewers (+115% - 10.1 million vs. 4.7 million) and Adults 18-49 (+108% - 2.5/9 vs. 1.2/4) in head-to-head competition. In fact, ABC’s Megastunts: Highwire Over Niagara Falls stood as the most-watched non-sports summertime (Memorial Day-Labor Day) telecast on the major networks since at least 2006.


  • · Megastunts: Highwire Over Niagara Falls – Live! turned in ABC’s biggest audience in the 2-hour time period in more than 5-1/2 years – since 12/1/06.


  • · Building steadily throughout its telecast, the Megastunts: Highwire Over Niagara Falls – Live! shot up by 5.7 million viewers, by 100% in Adults 18-49 and by 115% in Adults 25-54 from its first half hour to its final half hour. The show drew massive numbers during its final half hour, pulling in 13.1 million viewers, a 3.4/11 in Adults 18-49 and a 4.3/12 in Adults 25-54 from 10:30-11pm.


  • ChadCronin

    I got a call from my Grandma to turn the tv on. I didn’t see any advertising. It was so interesting and unexpected that I just had to watch. It was inspiring and cool. When Nik Wallenda mentioned that he was gonna train and already had a permit for The Grand Canyon, I immediately followed him a twitter so that hopefully in the next year or 2 this will be on tv too

  • Donna

    Congratulations to Wallenda, Niagara Falls (NY & Canada) and ABC on their success. They took a gamble and it paid off in a big way. That was fun and unique to watch.

  • Nick

    “Megastunts: Highwire Over Niagara Falls stood as the most-watched non-sports summertime (Memorial Day-Labor Day) telecast on the major networks since at least 2006.”

  • Nick

    ^ Addition to my post above
    Actually not a big accomplishment. The Latest Jesse Stone movie got 12+ million, but it was 2 days before Memorial Day. (:

  • Rolls Royce

    man what a show last night. i could not believe it during the mist i saw 2 angel, like they were holding the wire. Then towards the end their was a cruifix, im not lying. unbelievable

  • Chris

    Given this performance on a Friday night in the summer, I would bet that if there’s a next one ABC will schedule it for in-season, probably in May for sweeps.

  • Nick

    Wow, 3.4 demo at 10:30? When was the last time the networks got that on a Friday night at 10:30pm?????? It has to have been years. Incredible. This is the prime example of word of mouth right here. The problem is, this only happens with special stunts. Such a thing would never, ever happen with a regular scripted show in this day and age.

  • Oliver

    In case anyone is interested, on 11/30/07 ABC showed The Polar Express.

  • Chris

    I heard that in Buffalo (the market where Niagara Falls is located, if you didn’t know, but I’m sure you did), Megastunts drew about one-third of all homes with televisions. Just thought I’d point that out.

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