The critically-acclaimed docuseries Planet Earth II drew an unprecedented number of viewers for its premiere.
After airing on Feb. 18, the premiere became BBC America’s most-watched unscripted telecast in total viewers, with 2.7 million total viewers, including 1.2 million adults in the 25-54 demographic.
According to a statement from AMC Networks, the premiere episode was the most-watched nature program on U.S. television in five years.
The series took over three years to make and was filmed in 40 different countries over 117 filming trips, which totaled 2089 shooting days. Shot in ultra-high definition, Planet Earth II explores the islands, mountains, jungles, grasslands, deserts and cities of the world.
The first episode in the 10-part series aired across BBC America, AMC and Sundance TV on Feb. 18.
Across the pond in the UK, Planet Earth II garnered high ratings for BBC1 with, on average, 12 million people tuning into the nature series, beating out ITV’s The X Factor, which drew an audience of seven million viewers per week.
“Planet Earth II is extraordinary television, we’re so happy people gathered together in such numbers for our premiere event. Captivating audiences and critics alike, the launch of this series has received universal critical acclaim and off-the-charts enthusiasm on social platforms,” said Sarah Barnett, president of BBC America, in a statement.
Today’s news comes on the heels of BBC Americas recent greenlighting of Blue Planet II, the next chapter in the story of Earth. This brand new seven-part nature series explores the world’s oceans. It will be presented by renowned broadcaster and naturalist Sir David Attenborough.