King of the Highwire Nik Wallenda and his sister, Lijana, seventh-generation members of the Wallenda family circus troupe, returned to the highwire for a never-before-attempted walk of approximately 1,300 feet long and 25 stories above street level, across New York City’s iconic Times Square.
King of the Highwire Nik Wallenda and his sister, Lijana, seventh-generation members of the Wallenda family circus troupe, returned to the highwire for a never-before-attempted walk of approximately 1,300 feet long and 25 stories above street level, across New York City’s iconic Times Square, on SUNDAY, JUNE 23, 2019. “Highwire Live in Times Square with Nik Wallenda” aired as a live two-hour televised event. The walk marked Lijana Wallenda’s first highwire walk since the 2017 accident where she, along with four others, tragically fell 30 feet off a tightrope during a rehearsal.
The 1,300-foot-long walk took place 25 stories high between the famed 1 Times Square and 2 Times Square. Nik and Lijana started from opposite ends of the wire, met and crossed in the middle of Times Square, then continued to finish opposite of where they started. The must-see live event also featured video footage of the Wallendas’ history, preparation and exclusive interviews.
“It’s hard enough crossing Times Square on the ground, try it 25 stories up,” said Karey Burke, president, ABC Entertainment. “ABC is the destination for big live events that become cultural moments and Nik and Lijana will surely create one as they complete this never-before-attempted walk.”
“In 1928, my family performed at Madison Square Garden in the City of Dreams for the first time in the USA,” said Nik Wallenda. “And on June 23, I have the great opportunity to fulfill a lifelong dream of my own by paying homage to that performance as we return for my most exhilarating feat yet. I am beyond excited to be able to walk with my sister, Lijana, as she overcomes near-death injuries and continues the Wallenda tradition of never giving up!”
Nik Wallenda is the seventh-generation of the Great Wallendas who trace their roots back over 200 years to the Austro-Hungarian empire. For Nik, every walk is an expression of honor to his great grandfather, the legendary Karl Wallenda who brought the Wallendas to America from Germany to perform in The Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus. Nik’s previous live televised events include two hugely successful television events: walking across Niagara Falls in June 2012 and the Grand Canyon in June 2013. He holds 10 Guinness World Records.
Lijana Wallenda was one of five performers who fell off a highwire tightrope while attempting an eight-person pyramid stunt during a Circus Sarasota rehearsal in 2017. Lijana was severely injured and has been recovering ever since. The Times Square walk will be the first time she’s gotten back on the tightrope for a performance since her accident.
“Highwire Live in Times Square with Nik Wallenda” ranked No. 1 in its two-hour time period in Total Viewers and stood as Sunday’s No. 1 TV show on the major networks among Adults 18-49. “Highwire Live” built steadily throughout its telecast, surging by 3.3 million viewers and by 100% in Adults 18-49 from its first to final half-hour.
“Highwire Live in Times Square with Nik Wallenda” was produced by dick clark productions. Gretchen Eisele, Mark Bracco, Linda Gierahn, David Simone, Winston Simone, Shelley Ross and Nik Wallenda are executive producers.