Nik Wallenda's Chicago Tightrope Walk Fetches 6.7 Million Viewers

The stunt hits a 2014 high for Discovery but does not match last year's Grand Canyon walk
Associated Press
Nik Wallenda

Nik Wallenda wrapped another successful stunt on Discovery Sunday night. Though the daredevil failed to match the audience he brought during last year's Grand Canyon walk, his blindfolded trek between Chicago skyscrapers peaked with 6.7 million viewers.

That's almost half the viewers that tuned in at the height of the Grand Canyon coverage. Still, with an average 5.8 million viewers for the the entire telecast, it marks the network's most watched this year and the second highest since 2010.

Wallenda stunts are now becoming an annual TV event. After his 2012 walk across Niagara Falls averaged over 13 million viewers for ABC, Discovery swooped in for his Grand Canyon follow-up. The cable network swelled to as many viewers at the height of its wall-to-wall coverage of the stunt and averaged 8.5 million viewers.

And Wallenda is not the only name in the stunt game. Discovery also saw afternoon success last year when Felix Baumgartner staged a then-record-breaking skydive from the stratosphere. Space Jump Live netted 4.2 million viewers. The network had similarly high hopes for wing-suit jumper Joby Ogwyn, but his planned jump from the summit of Mount Everest was axed when an avalanche at the world's highest peak killed 16 in April.

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