Tightrope artist Nik Wallenda, who has done a few of these highwire specials on ABC before, will once again temp fate but this time with his sister, Lijana who only recently recovered from a deadly fall. In 2017, Lijana fell 30 feet off a tightrope, along with four others, during a rehearsal for a show. Seventh-generation members of the Wallenda family circus troupe, Nik and Lijana are returning to the highwire for a never-before-attempted walk of 1,300 feet, 25 stories above the streets.
“So many factors are involved in an event of this magnitude, but it will all come down to the moment when Nik and Lijana step onto the highwire and we’re covering every second live,” says Michael Strahan who will be hosting Sunday’s special alongside Dancing with the Stars’ Erin Andrews.
“It’s exciting to be part of this incredible event especially when Nik and Lijana are sending a message of strength and fearlessness in the face of the most tragic obstacle,” said Andrews. “Watching Lijana return to the wire after her near-fatal accident will truly be one of the greatest comebacks of all time.”
During their “walk,” Nik and Lijana will start from opposite ends of the wire, meet and cross in the middle of Times Square, then continue to finish opposite of where they started. The special will also feature video footage of the Wallendas’ history, preparation for the big night and exclusive interviews.
Highwire Live in Times Square with Nik Wallenda airs Sunday, June 23 at 8:00 p.m. on ABC.
I write about arts and entertainment in the greater Seattle area.