TV Ratings: 'Killing Kennedy' Edges Past 'Killing Lincoln' Record With 3.4 Million Viewers

UPDATED: National Geographic's latest scripted foray, and second collaboration with Bill O'Reilly, debuts against substantial competition from the NFL and "The Walking Dead."
National Geographic
"Killing Kennedy"

The National Geographic Channel continues to make strong strides into scripted programming.

Sunday night saw the network's second adaptation from Bill O'Reilly book, Killing Kennedy, average nearly 3.4 million viewers during its two-hour inaugural telecast. That puts it just a hair above the network's previous record viewership set by Killing Lincoln earlier this year. (Kennedy brought in 3,354,000, while Lincoln took 3,351,000.)

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The telepic, airing two weeks ahead of the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy's assassination, had substantial competition from the NFL and AMC's unstoppable The Walking Dead (12.2 million viewers at 9 p.m. ET). The 8 p.m. debut also earned a 1.1 rating with adults 25-54.

Killing Kennedy is just the latest effort in a big scripted push at the network. Nat Geo has already given the green light to an adaption of O'Reilly's Killing Jesus. And after the success of SEAL Team Six (2.7 million viewers last November), the network has ordered the similarly themed Act of Valor as its first drama series.

Killing Kennedy, directed by Nelson McCormick, stars Rob Lowe as Kennedy and Will Rothhaar as Lee Harvey Oswald. Like Killing Lincoln before it and Killing Jesus to come, it was produced by Ridley Scott's Scott Free Productions.