LOS ANGELES — Nik Wallenda not only crossed the Grand Canyon — he beat the broadcasters.
Wallenda's live “Skywire” tightrope walk across a gorge drew huge ratings for Discovery on Sunday, with 13 million tuning in for the climax from 8:38 p.m. to 9:01 p.m., when the daredevil strode his way across the wire in just under 23 minutes.
That tiptoed right past anything on offer from the broadcasters, including NBC's crime drama “Crossing Lines” (4.4 million) and “60 Minutes” (8.2 million), according to Nielsen.
Overall, “Skywire Live With Nik Wallenda” earned a death-defying 10.7 million total viewers, making it Discovery's highest-rated live event.
Wallenda's successful stunt also generated 71 percent of TV-related social-media commentary on Sunday — despite the fact that its competition included AMC's season finale of its 1960s drama “Mad Men.”