On Friday, NBC aired a two-hour Dateline NBC special: Who Killed JonBenet?, which featured the first-ever TV interviews with family, friends and law enforcement close to the infamous JonBenet Ramsey murder case. 2016 marks the 20-year anniversary of the beauty pageant queen’s brutal murder, an event which captured an outrageous amount of media attention at the time.
Who Killed JonBenet? lifted NBC to a Friday night victory. The special averaged 6.5 million viewers across the two hours, making it the most-watched Friday edition of Dateline NBC in nearly 18 months. The 1.8 rating in the A25-54 demo represents the program’s best performance in the news demo in over 6 months. It was the No. 1 show of the night across the entire TV landscape, and topped the combined A18-49 and A25-54 deliveries of both ABC and CBS during the 10 p.m. hour.
Many networks have planned their own versions of a JonBenet Ramsey investigation special for this month, betting that the content would deliver strong ratings for their respective networks. A&E kicked things off last week with The Killing of JonBenet: The Truth Uncovered, a two-hour documentary focusing on the Ramsey case, which remains unsolved. JonBenet’s brother Burke Ramsey gave his first interview ever to Dr. Phil which aired today on his syndicated daytime series. JonBenet: An American Murder Mystery, a three-night miniseries from true-crime juggernaut Investigation Discovery, premieres tonight. HLN will air the two-hour documentary Who Killed JonBenet Ramsey? on Friday September 30 at 9 p.m. ET.
All of those other JonBenet Ramsey specials may have led CBS to curtail its look at the case. According to THR CBS decided today to trim its special, The Case Of: JenBenet Ramsey, to four hours, airing over two nights, instead of the previously planned six hours over three nights.