The 2012 London Olympics were nothing short of smashing (and wouldn’t NBC love some of those ratings today?). Now comes the official documentary of the games, First, an insider look at several rookie Olympians who bypassed car surfing and beer pong to focus on their golden dreams. The film focuses on young athletes in sports ranging from running to swimming, gymnastics to diving, cycling to BMX, boxing to judo and covering Olympians from the U.S. — including teenage four-time gold medalist Missy Franklin — China, Kenya, Ireland, South Africa and elsewhere. The doc from writer-director-producer Caroline Rowland will hit theaters May 30, followed by a July 27 airing on NBC.
Joe Utichi contributes to Deadline’s UK coverage.
Danny Boyle threatened to resign as artistic director of the opening ceremony of last year’s Olympic Games in London, he has disclosed. In an updated book of conversations with journalist Amy Raphael, to be published on April 4, Boyle claims he butted heads with Games organizers Locog over creative differences and his displeasure with certain decisions being made for the Games. He came “close to walking away” when he heard of plans for ground-to-air missile silos to be installed on buildings near the Olympic site, and became “unbelievably unpleasant” during meetings with Locog. “Occasional threats to resign were useful,” he said. “There’s a terror of bad headlines in the press, which you have to turn to your advantage.” A major point of contention was a stadium wrap being designed by the artist Damien Hirst. Hirst pulled out over a row about sponsorship from Dow Chemical and its links to the Bhopal gas disaster in India in 1984, which killed 15,000 people. “He didn’t want to be associated with Dow,” Boyle said, although Hirst did later contribute a design to the closing ceremony.
NBC said today it will stream Sunday’s Olympic closing ceremony live online after all, the AP reported. In changing its position, NBC acknowledged that it has taken plenty of heat over its decision to broadcast tape-delayed coverage …
UPDATE, 1:23 PM: The final tally is in and for last night’s XXX Summer Games (16.8/28) it was truly a Gold medal spike worthy of Beach Volleyball winners Kerri Walsh Jennings and Misty May-Treanor. With 29.1 million viewers on average tuning in, last night was the most watched second Wednesday of any Summer Olympics in 36 years. That includes the 1996 Atlanta Summer Games, which pulled in 28.9 million on its second Wednesday. While the London Games has often topped all other non-U.S. Summer Games since 1976, it has rarely done better than Games that were held in the United States. Of course, as it has in the final numbers for 12 of the 13 nights of the London Games, NBC’s primetime 8 – 11 PM coverage of the Olympics once again bested the 2008 Beijing Games. The Summer Olympics four years ago got 24.8 million on its second Wednesday, that’s 17% less than last night. Last night’s coverage was also up 11% in the ratings from Beijing’s 15.2/26 on the comparable night back in 2008. The 32.6 million viewers that NBC has had on average in primetime over the first 13 day s of the London Games is 3.6 million more than the average of 29.0 million that watched the first 13 nights of the Beijing Games.
PREVIOUS UPDATE: NBC released “fast official” ratings for the preview of Go On, which actually aired from 11:06-11:30 PM. It averaged a 5.6 rating in adults 18-49 and 16.1 million viewers and posted a 84% retention from the first to second half, according to NBC.
PREVIOUS: Last night’s Olympics coverage on NBC, punctuated by an all-American beach volleyball women’s final won by three-time champions Kerri Walsh Jennings and Misty May-Treanor, and a track & field gold rush, delivered a 9.2/27 among adults 18-49 from 8-11 PM and 28.7 million viewers in the fast nationals. That was up 14% from the same night during the Beijing games and down 5% from last Wednesday as Olympics ratings tend to taper off in Week 2. A commercial-free preview of NBC’s new comedy Go On starring Matthew Perry aired from 11:04-11:30 PM. NBC’s 11-11:30 PM fast national average was 18.6 million viewers and a 6.4/20 in 18-49. Extrapolating the numbers, Go On pulled in about 5.8 demo rating and 16.6 million viewers. While that is only a little more than half of the show’s lead-in (NBC’s Olympics coverage scored 10.4 and 30.6 million viewers from 10:30-11 PM), it is still good sampling for the new series.