"Land of the Tiger," the "National Geographic" documentary that aired Wednesday night, drew the largest audience in the history of KCET Channel 28 and may also set a record for the Public Broadcasting Service, ratings figures from the A.C. Nielsen Co. showed Thursday.
The hourlong program about tigers in India registered a 10.7 rating in Los Angeles, meaning it was seen in more than 500,000 homes. Only KABC-TV Channel 7 and KNBC Channel 4 had more viewers during that period.
A KCET spokeswoman said the documentary's rating surpassed the station's previous high-water mark, a 9.1 recorded by the premiere of "Cosmos" in September, 1980.
Meanwhile, a spokesman for the PBS network said "Land of the Tiger" may also rank as the most-watched program in public television annals. National figures won't be available for several weeks, but overnight ratings from Los Angeles and four other cities averaged higher than similar figures for the current PBS record-holder, another "National Geographic" documentary from last year called "The Sharks."
The highest ratings for "Land of the Tiger" came in San Francisco, where it outdrew every other program in its time period, including the three networks.