Ken Burns’ ‘Country Music’ Documentary Reached 34.5 Million Unique Viewers

Ken Burns‘ eight-part Country Music documentary, which premiered Sept. 15 on PBS stations nationwide, reached 34.5 million unique viewers, according to Nielsen’s Live +7 data. During the documentary’s eight-night premiere run, the film delivered an average audience of 6.8 million cross-platform viewers (with an average household rating of 4.4), making the documentary Burns’ most-watched film since 2014’s The Roosevelts. To date, there have been more than 4 million streams of the series across all PBS digital platforms and the series has generated nearly 1.5 million social media engagements on Facebook and Twitter.

Country Music was directed by Burns and produced by Burns, Dayton Duncan, and Julie Dunfey. The first four episodes aired nightly from Sunday, Sept. 15 through Wednesday, Sept. 18, and the final four episodes aired nightly from Sunday, Sept. 22 through Wednesday, Sept 25.

The series will be rebroadcast on PBS on Friday nights at 9 p.m. ET from Jan. 3 through Feb. 21, 2020.

“We couldn’t be happier with the audience we reached with Country Music,” said Burns. “We were fortunate to travel across the country to towns large and small to discuss this film and this history, and in each, we were met with new stories about the power of music. The PBS stations in just about every market helped us engage a public that rightly sees this music as their heritage.”

Country Music is about the power of music and stories,” said Perry Simon, Chief Programming Executive and General Manager at PBS. “It is also about the power of public television to reach people in every corner of this country and to share with them their stories while further engaging them in conversation about this art form. We’re thrilled with the reach we had and the fact that Ken’s film will continue to entertain and educate audiences for years to come.”


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Jessica Nicholson serves as the Managing Editor for MusicRow magazine. Her previous music journalism experience includes work with Country Weekly magazine and Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) magazine. She holds a BBA degree in Music Business and Marketing from Belmont University. She welcomes your feedback at [email protected]

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