Ken Burns and Lynn Novick’s ‘The Vietnam War’ Seen by 39 Million Viewers

Apr 12, 2018  •  Post A Comment

Press release from PBS, April 12, 2018:

PBS today announced the final national ratings for Ken Burns and Lynn Novick’s THE VIETNAM WAR, the epic documentary film that premiered on Sunday, September 17, 2017 on PBS stations nationwide. The first five episodes aired nightly from Sunday, September 17, through Thursday, September 21, and the final five episodes aired nightly from Sunday, September 24, through Thursday, September 28.

According to Nielsen Live +7 data, THE VIETNAM WAR reached 39 million unique viewers across its premiere and encore telecasts. During its 10-night premiere run, the film delivered an average audience of 6.7 million P2+ (an average household rating of 4.4). This makes THE VIETNAM WAR the second-highest-rated Burns/Novick film of the past two decades, following THE WAR (2007). In addition, THE VIETNAM WAR’s first six episodes brought a close to the Nielsen 2016-2017 broadcast year and were the highest-rated PBS telecasts of the season.

The premiere episode of THE VIETNAM WAR was PBS’ most-watched telecast since the series finale of DOWNTON ABBEY ON MASTERPIECE in March 2016. The episode earned a national household rating of 6.0, more than 300 percent greater than PBS’ average primetime rating.

Between September 17 and December 31, all ten episodes streamed 10 million times across PBS owned platforms and YouTube, making THE VIETNAM WAR the most-streamed Ken Burns series ever, delivering more than four times the streams of THE ROOSEVELTS. In a first, in addition to a Spanish-language version of the series, PBS also offered a Vietnamese-subtitled version of the series for streaming, which was also made available in Vietnam, that has been viewed 1.9 million times to date.

The series has so far been seen in 88 countries. In Germany, the series was streamed more than 1.5 million times, and in France it was streamed more than 1 million times. Further, THE VIETNAM WAR has been a best-selling title on Amazon, iTunes and ShopPBS.org.

THE VIETNAM WAR is currently available on Blu-ray and DVD from PBS Distribution at shopPBS.org. The DVD and Blu-ray extras include a 45-minute preview program, two special segments on the contemporary lives of two of the program’s participants, and deleted scenes. The series is also available for digital download.

Funding for THE VIETNAM WAR is provided by Bank of America; Corporation for Public Broadcasting; PBS; David H. Koch; The Blavatnik Family Foundation; Park Foundation; The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations; The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation; The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; National Endowment for the Humanities; The Pew Charitable Trusts; Ford Foundation Just Films; Rockefeller Brothers Fund; and Members of The Better Angels Society: Jonathan & Jeannie Lavine, Diane & Hal Brierley, Amy & David Abrams, John & Catherine Debs, Fullerton Family Charitable Fund, The Montrone Family, Lynda & Stewart Resnick, The Golkin Family Foundation, The Lynch Foundation, The Roger & Rosemary Enrico Foundation, Richard S. & Donna L. Strong Foundation, Bonnie & Tom McCloskey, Barbara K. & Cyrus B. Sweet III, The Lavender Butterfly Fund.

THE VIETNAM WAR is a production of Florentine Films and WETA, Washington, DC. Directed by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick. Written by Geoffrey C. Ward. Produced by Sarah Botstein, Lynn Novick and Ken Burns.

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