Episodes 3 and 4 of Michael Jordan's documentary The Last Dance were released on Sunday, April 26 (Monday, April 27 IST). Focusing on Jordan's 1998-99 season, the combined The Last Dance viewership numbers have reportedly exceeded 10 million. The Last Dance ratings have also made the episodes the four most-viewed original content broadcast on ESPN Networks since 2004.
“The Last Dance” episodes 3 and 4 continue audience momentum from premiere. pic.twitter.com/lOLa2PDzvo— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) April 27, 2020
The Last Dance continued to perform during the second week, bringing in 5.9 million viewers across ESPN and ESPN2. According to The Last Dance ratings, the third episode averaged 6.1 million viewers, and Episode 4 averaged 5.7 million viewers. Since sports across the United States halted in March, The Last Dance episodes are four of the six most-viewed telecasts for adults between 18-34.
Combined with the first two episodes, the Chicago market reported a 12.6 rating, 3 percent more than last week. Chicago was followed by other cities like Raleigh-Durham (6.5 rating), Norfolk (4.9 rating), Charlotte (4.7 rating), and Greensboro (4.7 rating). The Last Dance was also the most talked-about program on social media on Sunday (Monday IST) bringing in over four million mentions across Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
The first two episodes also received more than 3.2 million views per episode, which was a 52 percent lift. The first episode of the documentary averaged a reported 6.3 million viewers and the second episode brought in 5.8 million viewers. The Last Dance is now the most-viewed documentary in ESPN history. As per reports, The Last Dance viewership numbers surpassed expectations and 'blew away' everyone's 'optimistic projections.'
The Last Dance is currently the most-viewed documentary in ESPN history and the most-viewed ESPN broadcast in 2020 since the College Football Playoff National Championship Game between LSU and Clemson in January. The documentary also reportedly suppressed Oscar winner O.J.: Made in America. The docu-series' 6.1 million is a 79 percent increase over the ABC-aired 2016 broadcast of ESPN's in-depth analysation of OJ Simpson's career and trial. It also being seen as the best original content on any Disney-owned sports channel since George Washington was the US President in 2004.
As per reports, the sports hiatus is the key factor behind the documentary's success. Jordan's popularity adds to the overwhelming success along with the content of the documentary which includes never-seen-before before clips along with interviews from former US presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, and athletes like Jordan himself, Scottie Pippen, Kobe Bryant and Phil Jackson. The numbers of the documentary are predicted to increase with every week.