January 1, 2012

The Sked: SATURDAY RATINGS December 31

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Written by: Mitch Metcalf
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>ABC was once again king of New Year’s Eve, averaging a 3.0 rating with Adults 18-49 from 8-11 pm.  The evening began with New Year’s Rockin’ Eve: 40th Anniversary Party from 8-10 pm and a very solid 2.4 rating.  The special, hosted by the combination of Jenny McCarthy in Times Square and Fergie in a Hollywood studio, looked back at past musical performances from the Rockin’ Eve show, as well as new live performances.  But then at 10 pm, ABC scored a 4.1 rating from 10-11 pm with Dick Clark’s Primetime New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest.  Ratings from the 11:30 pm Rockin’ Eve special itself (featuring the Lady Gaga, the dropping of the ball at midnight, and of course the now traditionally odd and sad appearances by Dick Clark himself) are not yet available, but they surely dominated the competition.  The 40th anniversary all-primetime strategy worked like a charm.  Last year on this night: ABC started with a low-rated movie from 8-10 pm and a 1.4 rating, followed by a 2.8 rating for the 10 pm Rockin’ Eve primetime special.

NBC was the only network to try to take on ABC…with little success.  The 10-11 pm NBC’s New Year’s Eve with Carson Daly averaged a melancholy 0.9 rating.  While Carson Daly was live in Times Square, most of the music performances appeared to be taped and far from the action (Rockefeller Center and the top of a building on Fifth Avenue).  The special was not helped by its lead-in: two Grimm repeats (0.5 at 8 pm and 0.4 at 9 pm).  NBC’s New Year’s took a pretty big drop from last year.  Minute to Win It repeats averaged a 0.9 from 8-10 pm last year on this night, while the Carson Daly special turned in a 1.2 rating.

The only good news for NBC was that the giant billboard for Smash was in full view of many ABC cameras.  No one watched Carson Daly, but there were millions of exposures of the Smash title and the “Monday after the Super Bowl on NBC” tagline. 

CBS averaged a 0.6 last night (the same as NBC’s average) with a play of the movie The Bourne Ultimatum and a How I Met Your Mother repeat.  Last year CBS was more successful, scoring a 0.9 for the night with crime drama repeats.

FOX averaged a 0.5 rating from 8-10 pm with two Terra Nova repeats, a touch lower than it did last year with a movie repeat (0.6 rating).



About the Author

Mitch Metcalf
MITCH METCALF has been tracking every US film release of over 500 screens (over 2300 movies and counting) since the storied weekend of May 20, 1994, when Maverick and Beverly Hills Cop 3 inspired countless aficionados to devote their lives to the art of cinema. Prior to that, he studied Politics and Economics at Princeton in order to prepare for his dream of working in television. He has been Head of West Coast Research at ABC, then moved to NBC in 2000 and became Head of Scheduling for 11 years.