Roughly 13 mil­lion watched open­ing of Viet­nam War doc

Daily Times (Primos, PA) - - ENTERTAINMENT -

NEW YORK » Roughly 13 mil­lion peo­ple saw the first episode of PBS’ doc­u­men­tary on the Viet­nam War, the big­gest au­di­ence for a PBS pro­gram since the fi­nale of “Down­ton Abbey” in March 2016.

The 18-hour doc­u­men­tary se­ries pro­duced by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick is an­other ex­am­ple of peo­ple ex­pe­ri­enc­ing tele­vi­sion on their own terms. The Nielsen com­pany said an es­ti­mated 31 per­cent of TV view­ers taped the pre­miere and watched it later, and 2 mil­lion peo­ple streamed it on­line. The first episode pre­miered on Sept. 17.

Nielsen does not yet have view­er­ship es­ti­mates for the se­ries as a whole.

PBS sought to give view­ers sev­eral op­tions for watch­ing each episode. Every episode was re­peated im­me­di­ately af­ter it first aired, and episodes were made avail­able for stream­ing at the same time they were on TV. PBS is now re-air­ing the se­ries in weekly in­stall­ments.

The de­layed view­ing and stream­ing were in­ter­est­ing to PBS, since with an older au­di­ence its ex­ec­u­tives ex­pected more peo­ple to be watch­ing on live TV, said Beth Hoppe, chief pro­gram­ming ex­ec­u­tive for pub­lic tele­vi­sion.

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