These ratings results mean The Vietnam War is the second-highest-rated Burns/Novick film of the past two decades, following The War in 2007, PBS boasted.
Burns’ best-known documentary for PBS, The Civil War, aired nearly three decades ago. Looking back across two decades also excludes some other well-known Burns/Novick docus for public broadcasting from the conversation.
The premiere episode of The Vietnam War, which was unveiled September 17, was PBS’ best-performing telecast since the series finale of Downton Abbey on Masterpiece and is the highest-streamed series opener in PBS history.
The first five episodes of the 17-hour-plus series aired nightly through September 21. The final five episodes aired Sunday-Thursday, September 24-28. The Vietnam War’s first six episodes closed Nielsen 2016-2017 broadcast year for PBS and were the programming service’s highest-rated telecasts of that season.
The final four episodes of the series will be included in the current 2017-18 Nielsen broadcast year.
PBS is repeating The Vietnam War at 9 PM ET Tuesdays through November 28.