More than 33 million people sampled Ken Burns’ The Roosevelts, PBS said this morning. The seven-part documentary series, airing on consecutive nights in September, averaged 9.2 million viewers, making it the third-highest-rated Burns film following the 1990 broadcast of The Civil War, and Lewis And Clark in 1997. The premiere episode, debuting on Sunday, September 14, was the highest rated of the series, with an average of 11.7 million (besting all other broadcast and cable programs that night in total viewers). And the week of September 15, in which all other episodes premiered, is PBS’ most watched in 20 years — since the week in 1994 when PBS premiered Burns docu-series Baseball. That Thursday’s episode No. 5 scored the second-highest audience of the series — 7.6 million viewers.
Among those households that watched The Roosevelts, the average time spent viewing, per household, was more than four hours (248 minutes).
The TV ratings are noteworthy in that PBS made the entire 14 hours available for streaming for two weeks, beginning the day after the premiere — a Ken Burns first. Viewers could access all seven episodes through PBS stations’ video sites, pbs.org/theroosevelts, and PBS station-branded digital platforms including Roku, Apple TV and Xbox. The full episodes were streamed more than 1.85 million times, with one-third of the streams delivered via PBS’ over-the-top apps. Additionally, The Roosevelts has been a best-selling title on Amazon, iTunes and ShopPBS.org.
The Roosevelts ranked in Nielsen Social’s Daily Top 5 for series and specials three out of the seven days it aired new episodes. The program generated over 3.6 million Twitter TV Impressions over the course of the week, according to Nielsen.
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