The commercial-free television premiere of The Way I See It on MSNBC delivered a record 3.7 million total viewers from 10 p.m. to 11:40 p.m. ET on Friday, October 16, according to Nielsen. The film will be available to stream for free on Peacock this coming Friday (Oct 23rd).
The documentary, co-presented by Focus Features and MSNBC Films, ranked #2 in all of television in the timeslot (ahead of #3 FOX News’ 3.6 million and #7 CNN’s 1.6 million) and achieved the network’s highest-rated non-news, non-live program ever in MSNBC’s 25-year history. In A25-54, “The Way I See It” drew 527,000 viewers. This was the first project from the newly-formed NBC News Studios, an in-house production studio that primarily produces documentary films and series.
The Way I See It, directed by Dawn Porter and produced by Academy Award winner of Free Solo Evan Hayes, Academy Award winner Laura Dern and Jayme Lemons, is an unprecedented look behind the scenes at two former presidents, Barack Obama and Ronald Reagan, as seen through the eyes of renowned photographer Pete Souza. As official White House Photographer, Souza was an eyewitness to the unique and tremendous responsibilities of being the President of the United States of America. The documentary reveals how Souza transforms from a respected photojournalist to a searing commentator on the issues Americans face.
In January 2020, NBC News launched NBC News Studios, a new unit that produces premium documentaries, docuseries, select scripted programming and content for emerging platforms. MSNBC Films is a division of NBC News Studios.