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Vick Episode Gets ‘Animal Witness’ Off to Strong Start

Animal Planet officials Tuesday said Sunday night’s premiere episode of its new series Animal Witness garnered a 0.9 rating and more than 1.1 million total viewers, making it the most-watched series debut in network history.

The special episode titled “The Michael Vick Case” told the story of the fallen NFL star who is currently serving a 23-month sentence in federal prison for his role in a dog fighting conspiracy. The special exposes the brutal sport of dog fighting and spotlights the incredible rehabilitation of the former Atlanta Falcon quarterback's dogs under the care of some very dedicated dog lovers.

Animal Planet said the show was watched in more than 808,000 homes and was watched by 616,000 viewers between 25-54.

The premiere ranked as the highest-rated Animal Planet telecast among 25-54 viewers (0.6 rating) since January 2007 when the network aired the Steve Irwin specials Ocean’s Deadliest andCrikey! What an Adventure. It was also the network’s top telecast in the past year among women 25-54 with a 0.6 rating and garnered a 0.5 among men between 25-54.