Inside 9/11 Sets Nat Geo Record

National Geographic Channel more that doubled its network ratings record with last night’s conclusion to a two-part original special on 9/11. The two-hour installment of Inside 9/11 posted a 3.62 household rating at 9 p.m., shattering the 1.6 record set by Unlocking Da Vinci’s Code, a special telecast last December.

Inside’s conclusion earned a 2.88 rating in the network’s target demo, adults 25-64.

The two-parter, executive produced by Michael Cascio, featured interviews with experts, survivors and observers; photos and video from amateurs and news organizations; audio from the hijacked airplanes and air traffic control and computerized interiors of the World Trade Center and the planes.

Part one, titled "War on America," chronicled al Qaeda’s infancy during the 1978 Soviet-Afghan war and its earlier terrorist activities against the U.S., including 2000’s bombing of the USS Cole. It earned a 2.52 household rating Sunday night.
Monday night’s second half, "Zero Hour," recounted the events of Sept. 11 and their aftermath, including cockpit voice recordings of lead hijacker Mohammed Atta and first-person accounts from survivors.

National Geographic Channel, co-owned by National Geographic Television & Film and Fox Cable Networks, continues to raise its profile. The network recently announced plans for an HD channel for early 2006 and grew its viewership 47% this July over last, averaging 245,000 total viewers in prime. It also doubled its upfront ad-dollar volume over last year.

Since its launch in Jan. 2001, the network has grown from 10 million to 55 million subscribers.

The special also led National Geographic Channel to its highest rated day and week average.

Nat Geo will rerun each of the specials two episodes back to back Aug. 26 at 7 p.m., Sept. 8 at 7 p.m., and on Sept. 11 at 1 p.m.