Cable Ratings: Ardi Discovers Viewers For Discovery

Discovering Ardi, a two-hour special for Discovery Channel about Ardipithecus ramidus (or Ardi for short) a hominid that helps shed new light on human evolution, delivered solid numbers for the network Sunday, Oct. 11.

Ardi drew 1.8 million viewers, including 859,000 P25-54 fro 9-11 p.m. That was despite a very small timeframe to promote the series, which had been in the works for years but was kept under wraps until the scientists investigating the fossil revealed their findings in the October edition of the journal Science.

Ardi is the second unexpected evolutionary special to premiere on television this year, following The Link, which debuted on History in May. That special examined Ida, a fossil which may be the earliest known mammalian ancestor of humans, though much farther down the evolutionary timeline than Ardi. That special drew comparable numbers, attracting nearly 2 million viewers and 900,000 P25-54.