Twenty-two years after his final game with the Chicago Bulls and 17 after his last NBA game, Michael Jordan still draws an enormous following.
ESPN’s much-anticipated documentary series “The Last Dance,” featuring a behind-the-scenes look at Jordan and the 1997-98 Bulls, premiered Sunday night to a massive audience.
The first two episodes of the 10-part series, which aired on ESPN and ESPN2, averaged 6.1 million viewers across the two networks from 9-11 p.m., making it the most-watched documentary content in ESPN’s history.
Episode 1 averaged 6.3 million viewers, and the second episode averaged 5.8 million. Per ESPN, of the 6.1 million viewers the two episodes averaged, 3.5 million viewers were in the age 18-49 demographic.
On ESPN alone, the two hours averaged 5.3 million viewers, with Episode 1 delivering 5.7 million viewers and Episode 2 delivering 5 million. The ESPN version did not edit out colorful language, but the ESPN2 version did.
The premiere episodes rank as the two most-viewed original content broadcasts on ESPN Networks since 2004, surpassing the 2012 “30 for 30” film “You Don’t Know Bo” (3.6 million) on Bo Jackson. It is also the most-viewed telecast on ESPN since the 2019 national championship game in college football.