Nik Wallenda's 'Skywire Live' draws sky-high ratings for Discovery

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nik-wallenda-skywire-live-ratings.jpgOn a big night for cable premieres and finales on Sunday (June 23), one show rose well above the rest of the competition. Which is fitting, since it was about a guy walking on a tightrope.

Discovery Channel's "Skywire Live with Nik Wallenda," which followed Nik Wallenda's walk across a tightrope above the Grand Canyon, drew 10.7 million viewers from 9:10 to 10:20 p.m. ET Sunday. During Wallenda's 23-minute walk, which began at 9:38 p.m. ET, viewership spiked to almost 13 million. It also helped new series "Naked and Afraid" launch to an audience of 4.2 million people.

The special was far the most-watched program on TV Sunday night, beating everything on the broadcast networks and a host of other cable premieres and finales. Other ratings highlights from the night:

- The Season 6 finale of "Mad Men" drew 2.7 million viewers, even last year's season ender. For the season the show averaged 2.5 million viewers in the same-day ratings, off slightly from Season 5's 2.6 million.

- Lifetime's "Devious Maids" got off to a so-so start with 2 million total viewers and 826,000 adults 18-49. It drew 633,000 members of the channel's core women 18-49 demographic. The return of "Drop Dead Diva," meanwhile, scored 2.2 million viewers, down slightly from the 2.3 million who watched last season's premiere.

- Also on Lifetime, the original movie "Jodi Arias: Dirty Little Secret" premiered to 3.1 million viewers on Saturday. That's just shy of the 3.3 million viewers for the last big true-crime movie on Lifetime, "Prosecuting Casey Anthony."  

Photo/Video credit: Discovery Channel