PBS and WNET announced that the October 21 premiere of “Hamilton’s America” – the kick-off program for the 2016 PBS Arts Fall Festival – was watched by more than 3.6 million television viewers between its premiere on Friday, October 21 and Sunday, October 23 (Nielsen Weekend Fast National, Live+SD data). Friday night’s viewership (2.4 million average audience, 1.6 household rating) was 136% above the PBS program average for 9 pm Friday premieres over the past year (Nielsen Fast National Live +Same Day).
“On Friday night, excited Hamilton fans across the country gathered together to watch a film about how this incredible piece of art came to be,” said Beth Hoppe, Chief Programming Executive and General Manager, General Audience Programming, PBS. “The success of this documentary is a reflection of the tremendous collaboration between the teams at WNET, GREAT PERFORMANCES, Radical Media, PBS and our member stations, who worked together to ensure that viewers of all ages could enjoy this film across all media platforms. We are especially grateful to Lin-Manuel Miranda, who has championed PBS and provided great support to our teams during this process—even live tweeting during the premiere!”
“We are delighted by the tremendous viewership success of Hamilton’s America,” said Neal Shapiro, President and CEO of WNET New York Public Media. “We are honored to have brought the fascinating story of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s creative process to public television on our performing arts series GREAT PERFORMANCES, providing viewers with an inspiring and exclusive look at this groundbreaking production in American musical theater.”
“Hamilton’s America” was also simulcast live on the GREAT PERFORMANCES Facebook page, alongside the television broadcast with more than 640,000 streams over the weekend. Friday evening, 165,000 unique people generated 301,000 interactions about “Hamilton’s America” across Facebook and Twitter on both the PBS and GREAT PERFORMANCES platforms. Overall, the film was the #1 most social program of the day on Friday, October 21 (Source: Nielsen Social Content Ratings, 10/21 Episodes ranked on Total Interactions).
“Hamilton’s America” saw 540,000 streams across all PBS digital platforms Friday to Sunday, ranking it as one of the most streamed documentaries on PBS this year. “Hamilton’s America” will be available to stream for free through November 18 on PBS.org, via the PBS apps for iOS and Android devices and via station-branded digital platforms including Roku, AppleTV, Amazon Fire TV and Chromecast. Over the past month the GREAT PERFORMANCES website, with a special page for “Hamilton’s America,” has received 760,000 unique visitors since September 25, 2016. There, visitors can learn more about the documentary, watch exclusive clips and obtain media-rich resources for classroom instruction about Alexander Hamilton.
To engage enthusiastic viewers in the premiere, local PBS stations held more than 50 preview screenings for “Hamilton’s America” and other PBS Arts Fall Festival titles. These screening events allowed member stations to extend the excitement of the series through communities across the country.
Produced by Academy Award and Emmy Award-winning producers RadicalMedia (“What Happened, Miss Simone?,” “In the Heights: Chasing Broadway Dreams” for PBS) and directed by Alex Horwitz, “Hamilton’s America” delves even deeper into the creation of the show, revealing Miranda’s process of absorbing and then adapting Hamilton’s epic story into groundbreaking musical theater. Further fleshing out the story is newly shot footage of the New York production with its original cast, trips to historic locations such as Mt. Vernon and Valley Forge with Miranda and other cast members, and a surprising range of interviews with prominent personalities, experts, politicians, and musicians including President Barack Obama, President George W. Bush. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, Senator Elizabeth Warren, Secretary Hank Paulson, Secretary Timothy Geithner, Questlove, Black Thought, Jimmy Fallon, John Weidman, Nas and Stephen Sondheim.
“Hamilton’s America” is directed by Alex Horwitz and produced by Nicole Pusateri, with Executive Producers Jon Kamen, Justin Wilkes, and Dave Sirulnick for RadicalMedia. Jeffrey Seller and Lin-Manuel Miranda also serve as executive producers. For GREAT PERFORMANCES, Bill O’Donnell is series producer; David Horn is executive producer.
If you missed the broadcast screenings of the documentary, watch it in full below: