Friday, May 24, 2024

Ratings Smash: ABC’s Chadwick Boseman Tribute and Commercial Free “Black Panther” Night Pays Off


Last night’s commercial free “Black Panther” screening on ABC followed by a tearful tribute to star Chadwick Boseman paid off in droves.

Ratings were through the roof: 6 million average over 3 hours. The movie and special easily won the night.

The network responded quickly to Boseman’s tragic and surprise death from colon cancer. They aired their Disney-owned Marvel smash “Black Panther” without any breaks. It was followed by a special hosted by Robin Roberts and reported by Deborah Roberts honoring Boseman.

There were many tributes on Zoom from Boseman’s Avengers family including interviews with Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans. There were also comments from Disney CEO Bob Iger, wearing a pop collar polo shirt, and of course Marvel chief Kevin Feige.

There was also a lot of speculation about Boseman’s illness with not one actual fact. But those will come later this week, I’m sure, in other venues.

But the ratings success of the whole night is wonderful tribute to Boseman, whose death at 43, and the whole story of his last four years, are still heartbreaking.


Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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