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Posts Tagged ‘Nik Wallenda’

‘Skyscraper Live’ is Discovery’s Most Watched Telecast of 2014

WallendaChicagoNik Wallenda made history on Sunday after successfully crossing between two Chicago skyscrapers on a tightrope. “Skyscraper Live,” produced by NBC’s Peacock Productions, and airing on Discovery Channel peaked at 6.7 million viewers, making it Discovery’s most-watched telecast of 2014.

On the “Today” show Monday, Wallenda talked about his next feat:  Read more

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Willie Geist, Natalie Morales, Jim Cantore Hit the Windy City for Wallenda Skyscraper Walk

Discovery ChannelIt’s being billed as the most dangerous tightrope walk in the history of the Wallenda family: tonight in the Windy City, Nik Wallenda is set to cross the Chicago River while more than 50 stories high above the water, with no tether and no net.

For an encore, he’s then to do a second, shorter wire walk, between the two famed Marina Tower buildings located nearby. And this time, he’ll be blindfolded.

Not a feat for the faint of heart.

“Nik is probably the coolest, most calm guy when it comes to these things, as you would want him to be,” says Natalie Morales. who, with Today colleague Willie Geist, will co-anchor Discovery Channel’s coverage of the high-intensity event, which is being produced by NBC’s Peacock Productions.  ”I think we feel more of a comfort level, knowing how well he trains for the unforeseen circumstance.”

“I think we’re so confident in Nik because he’s so confident in himself,” adds Geist. “He does things he knows he’s capable of doing.”

TVNewser caught up with Morales and Geist in Chicago as the two prepped for today’s broadcast.  It will be the second time the pair will anchor such coverage, having teamed up last year with The Weather Channel’s Jim Cantore for Wallenda’s Grand Canyon walk.

Cantore is part of tonight’s event as well, providing updated forecasts during the show. He told TVNewser in Chicago that while the weather will be blustery - temperatures in the low-to-mid 40′s, with winds between 15-20 mph – that’s his forecast for those of us on the ground.  For Wallenda, “the winds can be a little bit stronger up there.”

Should the gusts be too great during his walk, Wallenda has said that his backup plan is to hold on to the wire and wait for help to arrive.

It will be a dangerous endeavor. Peacock Productions President and General Manager Sharon Scott confirms with TVNewser that there will be a 10-second delay during the broadcast, and Morales and Geist say they’re prepared should something go awry.

“Rest assured, there is a plan,” says Geist. ”But we don’t plan on using it.”

Another strategic consideration for the anchors is how to handle their direct communication with Wallenda. The three will be able to talk with each other during the second, shorter walk – the one that will have Wallenda blindfolded. Read more

A $250K Road And A Navajo Shrine: Producing Nik Wallenda’s Grand Canyon Walk

Daredevil Nik Wallenda‘s walk across a wire suspended above the Grand Canyon drew massive ratings for Discovery Channel when it aired last month. Now, Variety‘s Brian Steinberg goes behind the scenes to reveal the surprising challenges NBC News’ Peacock Productions faced while producing the broadcast.

Gretchen Eisele, executive producer for Peacock, found herself having to construct a production virtually in the middle of nowhere, a piece of land under the authority of the Navajo nation that was so remote that a trip to a real bathroom required a 15-mile drive. Construcing the road alone cost $250,000, according to Peacock. The team had to secure limited air rights around the site in case a pilot wanted to saunter above and try to get a look during Wallenda’s walk…

Meanwhile, the Navajo were concerned Wallenda’s event might damage an important spiritual shrine, and also expressed concern the nearby Hopi tribe might have authority over other elements of the site, Eisele recounted. Cameras had to be mounted below the tightrope and positions planned in the airspace above and around Wallenda.

While Peacock secured Willie Geist and Natalie Morales to host, the pair had to wake up at 1:30 AM to make the live broadcasts for the east coast, while the hotel the crew was staying at was in a different time zone than the wire walk location, causing confusion. It is quite a read.

Cable Network Ranker: Week of June 17


Original Summer series and Nik Wallenda‘s Grand Canyon wire walk dominated the cable ratings last week.

On cable news, Fox News was the top channel, placing sixth in primetime among ad-supported cable channels in primetime, and seventh in total day. MSNBC placed 35th in primetime and total day, while CNN placed 39th in primetime and 34th in total day. HLN placed 40th in primetime and total day.
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The Evening Ticker: Forbes, Skipper, Wallenda

  • Discovery will re-air Nik Wallenda‘s wire walk across the Grand Canyon on Sunday at 8 PM. This time, however, Wallenda will watch the walk himself, providing commentary on his thoughts along the way for the program.

The AM Ticker: Malveaux, Promax, Lee

  • CNN’s Suzanne Malveaux, along with Dr. Sanjay Gupta, will report on ALS this week, with a series of specials airing on “CNN Newsroom” Wednesday-Friday. The ALS reports will air at 1 Pm each day. Malveaux’s mother is affected by the disease.

  • Promax/BDA handed out its North American “Promotion, Marketing and Design” awards recently, and just about every network took home at least one. The full list of winners (more than 100) is here.

Ratings: Nik Wallenda Grand Canyon Wire Walk Watched By 13 Million

Photo Credit: Discovery Channel

Daredevil Nik Wallenda‘s live walk across a wire suspended over the Grand Canyon was viewed by 13 million million people on Discovery Channel last night.

10.7 million watched the main event broadcast from 9:10-10:20 PM, culminating with 13 million people tuning in during the walk itself from 9:38-10:01 PM. An average of 8.5 million people were watching the entirety of the special, including the pre-show.

The program was also something of a proxy war between ABC News and NBC News. ABC News produced Wallenda’s last stunt, when he walked across Niagara Falls, with “Good Morning America’”s Josh Elliott and ESPN “SportsCenter’”s Hannah Storm hosting. For the Grand Canyon stunt, NBC News produced the special for Discovery, with “Today’”s Willie Geist and Natalie Morales hosting.

The numbers for Discovery were on par with Wallenda’s last wire walk.

The daredevil’s last TV special, which aired on a Friday night last June on ABC, averaged 10.1 million viewers, peaking at 13.1 million viewers during its final half-hour.

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Kate Bolduan’s High-Wire Walk

Tonight daredevil Nik Wallenda will walk on a wire across the Grand Canyon, live on Discovery Channel. NBC News may be producing the special for Discovery, but that isn’t stopping Wallenda from appearing ion other networks to promote the special.

On Friday, CNN’s Kate Bolduan interviewed Wallenda, and actually got on the high-wire herself. 30 feet above the ground, with no net and no harness.

WATCH:

NBC’s Willie Geist and Natalie Morales–who are hosting the special–also previewed the walk on “Today.”

WATCH:

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NBC News Produces ‘The Office’ Special

Last night NBC aired the series finale of its sitcom “The Office.” The show, which follows the wacky and touching goings-on at the Dunder-Mifflin Paper Company in Scranton, Pennsylvania, was never as big a hit as comedies like “The Big Bang Theory” or “Two and a Half Men,” but found a loyal audience large enough to sustain it for nine seasons.

Leading up to the finale, NBC aired a retrospective of the series, featuring interviews with the cast and crew, and video footage from a trip they made to Scranton celebrate the show. An astute reader noticed that the retrospective was actually produced by NBC News, although it didn’t feature any notable news talent.

As strange as it may seem, NBC’s news division–not unlike ABC and CBS–will occasionally be commissioned for specials that are more entertainment than information. Peacock Productions, a production house within NBC News, is producing daredevil Nik Wallenda‘s walk across the Grand Canyon next month on Discovery Channel, just as ABC News produced his walk across Niagara Falls. Still, having the news division produce a retrospective on a show that could easily have been produced by the show’s own staff is sure to raise some eyebrows.

Willie Geist, Natalie Morales Will Host Nik Wallenda Walk Across Grand Canyon

In June, daredevil Nik Wallenda will attempt to walk across the Grand Canyon on a tightrope, live on Discovery Channel. NBC News’ Peacock Productions will be producing the jump, and so NBC “Today” co-hosts Willie Geist and Natalie Morales will be serving as the hosts of the event.

Wallenda announced the addition of Geist and Morales while walking on a tightrope above the audience at Discovery’s upfront presentation in New York yesterday (see the photo to the left). For insurance purposes, he was wearing a harness, “don’t worry though,” he said yesterday. “I won’t be wearing one when I walk across the Canyon.”

Last year ABC aired Wallenda’s walk across Niagara Falls, with “Good Morning America’”s Josh Elliott and “SportsCenter’”s Hannah Storm hosting. The event drew record ratings for ABC. ABC and Discovery were in a bidding war for the Grand Canyon stunt, with Discovery simply making the better offer. NBC, as the producer of the show, will also benefit.

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