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TV Ratings: 'Killing Lincoln' Pulls Record 3.4 Million to Nat Geo

The cable network continues its foray into scripted entertainment, pulling new highs in viewership with the presidential telepic.

Killing Lincoln Still - H 2013

National Geographic is having a very good Presidents Day.

Sunday's premiere of scripted drama Killing Lincoln pulled network records with an average 3.4 million viewers over the course of the two-hour premiere. The number sets a new high for individual broadcasts, leaping 175 percent from the typical average in the time period.

Starring Billy Campbell as the ill-fated president and Jesse Johnson as John Wilkes Booth, Killing Lincoln was adapted from the best-selling book by Bill O’Reilly. The movie, from Scott Free Productions, also was narrated on camera by Tom Hanks.

Killing Lincoln was our latest effort to expand the original programming we present on the National Geographic Channel, while still maintaining the brand values viewers expect from us,” said National Geographic Channels president Howard T. Owens. “The success we saw last night proved that authentic and entertaining are not mutually exclusive, and I think we’ve tapped into a new genre of factual drama that clearly resonates with our audience. Our record ratings would not have been possible without our partnership with Bill O’Reilly, Scott Free Productions and the incredible team that worked on this production.”

So confident in O'Reilly and Scott Free's work on Killing Lincoln, Nat Geo announced in January that it also will be adapting the Fox News personality's John F. Kennedy book, Killing Kennedy.

Killing Lincoln also pulled a 2.6 rating with households and a 1.1 rating with adults 25-54.