TORONTO (January 12, 2017) – An audience of nearly 720,000 people tuned in to watch the Jan. 3 debut of Discovery’s newest original Canadian series HEAVY RESCUE: 401, it was confirmed today, making it the most-watched premiere in the network’s 22-year history. To date, more than 3.3 million unique viewers – or nearly one in 10 Canadians – have tuned in to the first episode. The season continues with episodes airing in Discovery’s prime timeslot, Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT, paired with the network’s most-watched series, GOLD RUSH.
“With this record debut for Discovery, we have what clearly appears to be yet another genuine success story on our hands with this high-quality, highly engaging series that tells uniquely Canadian stories – the underpinning of Discovery’s primetime schedule,” said Ken MacDonald, Vice-President and General Manager, Discovery Networks. “We had great confidence in commissioning this new, nine-episode debut season as a spinoff to the smash hit HIGHWAY THRU HELL, which has freshly completed a fifth, record-breaking season, and is now in production on Season 6.”
Produced byThunderbird Entertainment’s factual arm Great Pacific Media – the makers of the Discovery’s hit Canadian primetime series HIGHWAY THRU HELL – HEAVY RESCUE: 401 follows multiple major tow operators, rescue, and maintenance crews day and night along North America’s most intense stretch of highway, Highway 401.
HEAVY RESCUE: 401 follows on a tradition of making shows that are a “force for good,” according to Executive Producer Mark Miller. “After HIGHWAY THRU HELL began airing on Discovery, crashes on the Coquihalla dropped by 50%. Most viewers are also drivers, and they took note of the danger and changed their driving behaviours. We hope HEAVY RESCUE will do the same for the 401, which today was ranked the ninth most clogged artery in Canada and the United States.”
“Our goal is to produce quality content that earns high ratings, and HEAVY RESCUE: 401 and HIGHWAY THRU HELL both do that in spades,” said Ivan Fecan, Thunderbird’s Executive Chair.