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National Geographic Channel, with Weinstein Promo Smarts, Scores Ratings Blitz with 'SEAL Team Six'

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood November 5, 2012 at 6:03PM

Chalk up another Harvey Weinstein controversary for effectively turning low-budget fictional programmer "SEAL Team Six: The Raid on Osama bin Laden" into a pre-election ratings bonanza Sunday night for National Geographic Channel. Even with mixed reviews, the story behind the raid that took down al-Qaeda’s leader is its top-rated show of 2012, pulling 4.7 million viewers, and the sixth highest-rated in NGC history. It encores on Friday, November 9, at 8 p.m. ET/PT. (Our interview with director John Stockwell is here.) Ratings averaged a 1.4 in the 25–54 demo on Sunday, Nov. 4, at 8 p.m. ET/PT.  This ranks as the highest rated telecast on NGC since the premiere of "George W. Bush: The 9/11 Interview" in August 2011, and eclipses the previous two-hour special record for 2012 of "Titanic: The Final Word with James Cameron," which had a .9 P 25–54 rating in April. “What National Geographic Channel, CEO David Lyle and President Howard Owens did was offer a captivating film of recent American history to as many homes as possible,” said Weinstein. “We expect SEAL Team Six to be a perennial for the National Geographic Channel and hope more people watch it this Friday.”
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"SEAL Team Six: The Raid on Osama bin Laden"
National Geographic Channel "SEAL Team Six: The Raid on Osama bin Laden"


Chalk up another Harvey Weinstein controversary for effectively turning low-budget fictional programmer "SEAL Team Six: The Raid on Osama bin Laden" into a pre-election ratings bonanza Sunday night for National Geographic Channel. Even with mixed reviews, the story behind the raid that took down al-Qaeda’s leader is its top-rated show of 2012, pulling 4.7 million viewers, and the sixth highest-rated in NGC history. It encores on Friday, November 9, at 8 p.m. ET/PT. (Our interview with director John Stockwell is here.)

Ratings averaged a 1.4 in the 25–54 demo on Sunday, Nov. 4, at 8 p.m. ET/PT.  This ranks as the highest rated telecast on NGC since the premiere of "George W. Bush: The 9/11 Interview" in August 2011, and eclipses the previous two-hour special record for 2012 of "Titanic: The Final Word with James Cameron," which had a .9 P 25–54 rating in April.

“What National Geographic Channel, CEO David Lyle and President Howard Owens did was offer a captivating film of recent American history to as many homes as possible,” said Weinstein. “We expect SEAL Team Six to be a perennial for the National Geographic Channel and hope more people watch it this Friday.”

This article is related to: SEAL Team Six: The Raid on Osama bin Laden, Harvey Weinstein


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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.