TV Ratings: 'Highwire Live in Times Square' Falls Short of Past Stunts

The special with Nik and Lijana Wallenda jumped in its second hour, but ABC's full broadcast drew a smaller audience than previous wire-walk attempts.
Walt Disney Television/Jeff Neira

ABC led Sunday's ratings thanks to Highwire Live in Times Square, but the two-hour special drew a smaller audience than similar specials in recent years.

The stunt, in which brother and sister Nik and Lijana Wallenda wire-walked across New York's Times Square from 25 stories up, averaged 5.25 million viewers for its two-hour run time, along with a 0.8 rating in adults 18-49. The audience grew substantially in the second hour as the Wallendas successfully completed the walk, drawing 6.36 million viewers vs. 4.14 million in the first hour. It peaked with 7.2 million viewers from 9:30-10 p.m.

The full special, however, came up short of previous stunts. Discovery's Skywire Live averaged 8.5 million viewers in 2013, and Skyscraper Live in 2014 drew 5.8 million. A 2012 ABC special featuring Nik Wallenda crossing part of Niagara Falls on a wire averaged 10.1 million viewers. 

Highwire Live in Times Square was produced by Dick Clark Productions, a division of Valence Media, the parent company of the Billboard-Hollywood Reporter Media Group. 

Elsewhere on Sunday night, The Good Fight delivered steady numbers for CBS as its season one run continued on the network. The CBS All Access series averaged 3.64 million viewers for a pair of episodes, up a little from 3.55 million a week ago, along with a 0.3 in adults 18-49. 60 Minutes was the night's most-watched show with just under 7 million viewers.

Fox got a 0.2 in adults 18-49 and just over 1 million viewers for a Premier Boxing Champions card, while Burden of Truth was steady on The CW with a 0.1 demo rating.

ABC led the night among adults 18-49 with a 0.7 rating; NBC and Univision tied for second with a 0.5; CBS scored a 0.4; Fox and Telemundo each notched a 0.2; and The CW earned a 0.1. 

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