Nearly 13 million viewers watched tightrope walker Nik Wallenda successfully cross the Grand Canyon Sunday night, according to Nielsen.
The walk segment from 9:38-10:01 p.m. drew 12.98 million total viewers and 5.87 million adults 25-54, while the Skywire Live with Nik Wallenda main event from 9:10-10:20 p.m. averaged 10.68 million total viewers and 4.77 adults 25-54. Combined with the pre-show from 8-9:10 p.m., which drew 6.25 million viewers, the entire event averaged 8.5 million watchers.
Hosted by Today's Willie Geist and Natalie Morales, Skywire Live was Discovery Channel's highest-rated special since Walking With Dinosaurs and Raising the Mammoth in 2000, beating recent nature specials like Planet Earth and LIFE.
Combined with the debut of Naked & Afraid, it was the best night for the network since July 2010. Naked delivered 4.16 million total viewers and 2.06 million adults 25-54 from 10:20-11:20 p.m., making it Discovery's second-highest rated series premiere behind 2012's Amish Mafia.