It seems like all anyone is talking about these days is ESPN’s "The Last Dance," which premiered Sunday night. The ratings from the first episodes are finally in. And they're astounding.
"The Last Dance" numbers blew away even the most optimistic projections. Episode 1 averaged 6.3 million viewers and Episode 2 averaged 5.8 million viewers across ESPN & ESPN2.— John Ourand (@Ourand_SBJ) April 20, 2020
Let’s break it down.
"The Last Dance" not only exceeded expectations, it broke records, becoming the most viewed ESPN documentary content. It was the most-watched telecast for adults ages 18 to 49 on broadcast and cable networks since sports were postponed due to COVID-19. Episode 1 averaged 6.3 million viewers, and Episode 2 averaged 5.8 million viewers across ESPN & ESPN2.
The premiere episodes are ESPN's two most-viewed original content broadcasts ever, beating "You Don’t Know Bo" at 3.6 million.
"The Last Dance" was also a major hit on social media, dominating the cultural conversation. It was the number one trending topic on Twitter, and, at one point, 25 of the 30 trending topics were related to the program. It also was the top Google search trend in the U.S. on Sunday. On Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, “Last Dance” posts from ESPN accounted for a combined 9 million engagements. Two pre-digital and two post-digital live shows combined for 3.5 million viewers and 2.6 million minutes.
It goes to show that the impact of MJ is timeless. But Chicago already knew that.