Arnie, Golf Channel’s three-night primetime television event on the life and legacy of Arnold Palmer, got off to a record start last night becoming the most-watched original film in Golf Channel’s history after only its first of three installments, according to Nielsen Fast Nationals. Also, #Arnie was trending nationally on Twitter during the premiere of Arnie from 10-11 p.m. ET on Sunday night. The first installment of Arnie garnered 471,000 viewers, which nearly doubled (+95%) Golf Channel’s previous most-watched original film War By The Shore (241,000 viewers – September 2012), which featured the epic 1991 Ryder Cup and was produced by 51-time Emmy Award-winner and former HBO Sports President Ross Greenburg.
Arnie will continue with its second installment, Arnie & His Majors, tonight (Monday at 10 p.m. ET) and will conclude with its final installment, Arnie & His Legacy, tomorrow (Tuesday at 10 p.m. ET), each of which will be televised with limited commercial interruption, backed by the support of Insperity and Callaway Golf. The critically acclaimed Arnie showcases how the golfing legend revolutionized and transcended the game to become one of the most beloved figures in sports history. Golf Channel’s production team, including producer Israel DeHerrera, writer Aaron Cohen and assistant producer Mason Seay – who have a combined 36 Emmy Awards – spent the last year traveling with Palmer, collecting interviews from more than 100 people, sifting through hundreds of hours of archived film – including hours of Palmer family video that has never been seen before.
GOLF CHANNEL’S #ARNIE ENGAGES ARNIE’S ARMY THROUGH SOCIAL MEDIA:
After trending nationally on Twitter on Sunday Night, #Arnie is how Arnold Palmer’s fans are expressing their reaction to the first night of the special on social media. To harness this momentum, GolfChannel.com has launched a Social Hub to collect stories, photos, videos and memories about Arnold Palmer and sponsored by Callaway Golf. At www.golfchannel.com/arnie-and-me, posts across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram that use the hashtag #Arnie are being featured, as well as submissions are being accepted via firstname.lastname@example.org. Every great story deserves to be told, so this collection of interactions between Arnold Palmer and his fan base, affectionately known as Arnie’s Army, will be featured on Golf Channel in the future.
CRITICAL ACCLAIM FOR ARNIE INCLUDES:
- “There are two givens about Arnold Palmer: He could be the most documented athlete in history. Fans can never get enough of Arnie. Golf Channel is about to prove both are true when they present Arnie…” – USA Today
- “ …a comprehensive three-part documentary about the life and career of Arnold Palmer, perhaps golf's greatest player and certainly the game's most beloved.” – Hollywood Reporter
- “It’s part love letter to its namesake and part thank-you note from all of us…” – Sports Illustrated
- “Golf Channel tells his story in three episodes fit for ‘The King’” – GolfWeek
- “What better way to cap Masters Sunday by spending time with Arnie…” – Multichannel News
- “Golf Channel has spent more than a year producing what might be the most important project in its 20-year history… ” – Associated Press
- “ …the kind of biographical treatment usually reserved for U.S. Presidents… ” – Advertising Age
- “Hail the King” – TV Guide
- “an impressively ambitious undertaking “ – Newsday
- “Arnold Palmer documentary looks tremendous.” – CBS Sports
UPCOMING PREMIERE EPISODES:
- “Arnie & His Majors” – Monday, April 14 at 10 p.m. ET – The second episode remembers Palmer’s competitive career, his go-for-broke style and his ups and downs at golf’s major championships. Covered are his amateur victories, including the U.S. Amateur in 1954, which he calls his most important win ever; his four Masters titles in a span of only seven years; the thrills of his U.S. Open victories and how winning the Open Championship in 1961 at Royal Birkdale changed that major championship forever in the minds of American players. Also explored is Palmer’s challenging history with the PGA Championship – the only major he never won.
- “Arnie & His Legacy” – Tuesday, April 15 at 10 p.m. ET – The concluding hour delves into the legacy of Arnold Palmer and his influence on popular culture, which stretches way beyond the links. Despite his last win on the PGA TOUR coming 40 years ago, according to “The Golf Digest 50” money list, Arnold Palmer had his best-year ever in earnings in 2013 and was the third-highest earner off of the golf course, behind only Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson. The Arnold Palmer brand has launched a wide range of businesses, including a lifestyle designer label in the Asian marketplace, a self-titled iced tea-lemonade beverage, golf course design and management firms, and even a cable television network by co-founding Golf Channel nearly 20 years ago, as well as donating millions to charity and established two world-class hospitals. And his long-standing relevance in popular culture continues to have an impact, evident by the fact that he was just as likely to have his photo taken with Hollywood starlet Esther Williams as a 17-year-old in the 1940s as he was with supermodel Kate Upton in 2013.