After opening theatrically abroad, SEAL Team Six: The Raid on Osama Bin Laden saw its stateside premiere on the National Geographic Channel on Sunday night -- giving the cable network a ratings record in the process.
The intitial 8 p.m. broadcast of the feature film, which was inspired by the events that led to the Al-Qaeda leader's 2011's assassination, averaged 2.7 million viewers for the two-hour telecast for NatGeo. Among adults 25-54, SEAL Team Six drew a 1.4 rating.
FILM REVIEW: SEAL Team Six: The Raid on Osama Bin Laden
The special ranks as NatGeo's top show for the year and is the network's sixth highest-rated broadcast ever. SEAL Team Six ranks as the highest-rated telecast in adults 25-54 since August 2011's George W. Bush: The 9/11 Interview, which drew a 1.7.
SEAL Team Six's broadcast came just two days shy of the 2012 presidential election. And starting Tuesday, the Weinstein Co.-distributed movie will be available on Netflix for U.S. subscribers.
At the time of NatGeo's SEAL Team Six announcement, Harvey Weinstein addressed the timeliness of the release. "I think many of us, myself included, have our own ideas of how everything unfolded that night," he said. "This portrayal of the events that took place that night is moving to say the very least. I anticipate audiences will be as captivated as I was from the beginning to the end, and I'm extremely proud as an American citizen to play a role in making sure this stunning portrayal of very recent American history is available in as many homes as possible."
NatGeo's decision to air the film, its first feature premiere, comes after the recently announced plans to premiere Killing Lincoln. The Scott Free production of Bill O’Reilly’s best-selling book about the president's assassination will arrive on the network in early 2013, with Tom Hanks on board as narrator and host of the scripted feature.
Directed by John Stockwell, SEAL Team Six stars Cam Gigandet, Anson Mount, Freddy Rodriquez, Xzibit, Kathleen Robertson, Eddie Kay Thomas and Kenneth Miller. The film will encore Friday at 8 p.m.