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Nik Wallenda's Gorge Walk Draws Big Ratings for Discovery

Tim Boyles/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- The ratings for the Discovery Channel telecast of Nik Wallenda's latest tightrope walk were simply grand.

Wallenda's walk across the Little Colorado River Gorge in Arizona, near the Grand Canyon, averaged 8.5 million viewers over the course of the two-hour-plus Skywire telecast, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

As you'd expect, the audience peaked during Wallenda's 22-minute walk, reaching nearly 13 million viewers.

Last year, Wallenda crossed the Niagara Falls on a wire during an ABC telecast that averaged more than 10 million viewers.

Wallenda's gorge walk wasn't the only major event on cable TV Sunday.  The sixth-season finale of AMC's Mad Men drew 2.7 million viewers, according to The Hollywood Reporter.  The total ties the mark for the series' biggest audience for a season finale to date.

However, it's still a drop from the 3.4 million who tuned in to the sixth-season premiere back in April.  Mad Men will return for its final season next year.

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