High-wire siblings Nik Wallenda and Lijana Wallenda will test their skills once again on national television Sunday night, in an attempt to walk between two Times Square buildings in New York City in the ABC special event, Highwire Live in Times Square with Nik Wallenda.
The two-hour special, which premieres at 8 p.m. ET, will be hosted by Good Morning America co-anchor and The $100,000 Pyramid host Michael Strahan and Dancing With The Stars co-host Erin Andrews. After the death-defying special, ABC will air an hour-long episode of the mini-golf game show Holey Moley at 10 p.m. ET.
The Wallendas will both be wearing safety harnesses as they cross a 1,300-foot-long wire between two New York skyscrapers, 25 stories above Times Square, reports The Hollywood Reporter. It has never been attempted before, and it will be Lijana's first high-wire stunt since she broke every bone in her face during a 2017 rehearsal injury.
"Our life and our career has always been about inspiring people to believe that nothing is impossible no matter what challenges you might face, and my sister's the perfect example of that," Wallenda, 40, told THR. "That wire almost took her life, and not only is she going to do something that people think is impossible but she's doing it against all odds mentally and physically."
The Wallenda family has been pulling off these kind of high-wire stunts since the late 1700s. In 1928, they pulled off their first U.S. stunt at Madison Square Garden, which is one reason why Nik wanted to try another never-before-accomplished feat in New York. He also still holds several Guinness World Records, and was the first person ever to tightrope walk across Niagara Falls and the Grand Canyon.
However, Times Square provides a unique challenge. It's not like the Crossroads of the World will shut down just so he and his sister can cross a tightrope.
"This is such a different beast and a whole different ball game. The Grand Canyon was beautiful, and yes there were winds that I was facing, but the distractions were gone," Nik told THR of his new stunt. "With this one, I have every distraction in the world: I've got cars, people, sirens and flashing LED walls."
Nik will start his walk at one end, walking downhill, while Lijana will start at the oppostie end, walking uphill. They will meet right in the middle, in front of the Viacom building.0comments
"She'll sit down on the wire. And I will step over her and we'll change places," Wallenda told the New York Post. "After I step over her, she'll get back up and continue walking."
Photo credit: Walt Disney Television/Jeff Neira