Bethesda, Md.-Discovery Channel's special, Walking with Dinosaurs, got a cable-documentary-record 8.0 rating, or an average 10.7 million viewers, when it debuted last Sunday (April 16).
Discovery said about 40 million Americans watched at least part of the special during two telecasts that Sunday night, according to preliminary estimates.
The special-a co-production with the British Broadcasting Corp. that depicts dinosaurs' lives through the use of computer animation and other techniques-was the most-watched nonsporting event on cable during the 1999-2000 season to date and the most-watched documentary ever on cable. It beat the record 7.8 (10.1 million viewers) set March 12 by Discovery's Raising the Mammoth premiere.
The initial 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Dinosaurs showing also beat Fox Broadcasting Co.'s Sunday lineup and NBC's Sunday movie, The Chamber, Discovery said. The 10 p.m. rebroadcast earned a 3.5 household rating, delivering more than 4 million viewers.
Repeat Dinosaurs presentations aired last Thursday at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m.