HBO’s latest Alex Gibney documentary, Sinatra: All Or Nothing At All, premiered Sunday and out-delivered the network’s year-to-date time-slot average by 73% in total viewers – 963,000 vs 556,000. This improvement, not surprising given the subject matter, was driven by adults ages 50 and older, while younger adult demos all were down, though not always drastically. For instance, Sinatra clocked 103,000 in the 18-34 demo where the year-to-date time slot average was 133,000 – a 23% drop. Among 25-54s, Sinatra’s 315,000 viewers reps a slight 2% slip from YTD 320,000. But Ol’ Blue Eyes attracted 205% more from the 50+ age bracket: 702,000 vs 230,000.
On its second night Monday, the four-hour Sinatra took a hit – victim of the NCAA Tournament championship game. Part 2’s overall audience plunged to 569,000 viewers. The docu nosedived 69% night-to-night, to just 32,000 viewers ages 18-34; among 18-49, it dropped 52%, from 249,000 to 119,000. A 47% fumble of 25-54s resulted in an average of 166,000 viewers for Night 2 of Sinatra. And even among viewers aged 50 and older, the docu’s second night tumbled 38% to score an average of 435,000 viewers.
The two-night, four-hour presentation marks the 100th anniversary of the singer/actor’s birth. Told in his own words from hours of archived interviews, along with commentary from those who had contact with him, the documentary weaves the music and images from Sinatra’s life together with rarely seen footage of his famous 1971 “Retirement Concert” in Los Angeles. The film’s narrative is shaped by Sinatra’s song choices for that concert, which Gibney interprets as the singer’s personal guide through his own life, focusing on his first 60 years.
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