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Nik Wallenda's Skywire Walk Draws 13 Million Viewers to Discovery Channel

Special is Net's Most-Viewed Program Since 2000 6/24/2013 11:17 AM Eastern

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 to 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 million in the aforementioned demo.

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 to 54 from 10:20-11:20 p.m., making it Discovery's second-highest rated series premiere behind 2012's Amish Mafia.

September