National Geographic Channel‘s broadcast of Seal Team Six: The Raid On Osama Bin Laden drew an average of 2.7 million viewers last night, making it the network’s top show of 2012 and its sixth-highest-rated broadcast in its six-year history. The two-hour special presentation directed by John Stockwell scored a 1.4 in the adults 25-54 demo, more than four times Nat Geo’s Sunday average (the average viewership in the demo last night was 1.27 million). It is the highest-rated telecast on the network in the demo since the premiere of George W. Bush: The 9/11 Interview in August 2011. Nat Geo’s highest-rated show in the demo was Inside 9/11: Zero Hour, which garnered a 2.88 rating when it aired in August 2005.
The Weinstein Company movie is being made available as an unedited version on Netflix today featuring a news montage of statements by Mitt Romney, Joe Biden, Hilary Clinton and others; Seal Team Six encores on Nat Geo on Friday at 8 PM ET.
Critics had questioned the timing of the movie’s broadcast premiere, which came just two days before the presidential election. The film detailed the story behind the manhunt and raid that took down al-Qaeda’s notorious leader, told through the eyes of the military and intelligence teams involved. The film’s Washington DC premiere was postponed by Hurricane Sandy and later revived that night by executive producer Harvey Weinstein, who held a screening anyway at his hotel.