Nik Wallenda is taking his high-wire act to Chicago for a tightrope walk to be televised this fall on Discovery, part of the network's strategy to entice viewers with live events. Wallenda's walk across the Grand Canyon last year reached more than 10 million viewers live on Discovery, an unusually big number for the cable network. The Chicago encore will probably take place in November, Discovery said today. The network isn't saying exactly where Wallenda will be skywalking in Chicago, saying it is still seeking a permit.
The city, of course, is home to the 1,451-foot Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower), the nation's second-highest building. "We wanted to make a shift from the natural—the Grand Canyon—to an urban environment," says Eileen O'Neill, Discovery president. "Chicago is a place where Nik's relatives have performed before. It just provides a number of interesting challenges for him." Discovery quoted Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel as saying the city is thrilled to be chosen.