December 26, 2011

The Sked: RATINGS through Sunday December 25

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Written by: Mitch Salem
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>Christmas week is one of the least-viewed weeks of the year — and one of the most difficult to program.  But thanks to a Sunday Night Football game, a Christmas Eve tradition of airing It’s a Wonderful Life, and a Christmas-themed SNL clip special, NBC will take the week of December 19-25 and will be the only network averaging over a 2 rating for the holiday week.

      Adult 18-49 Rating
      Primetime week of
      Dec 19-25, 2011

      NBC     2.2
      FOX     1.7
      CBS     1.4
      ABC     1.2  

Last night, NBC averaged a preliminary 6.6 Adult 18-49 rating for the Chicago Bears-Green Bay Packers game, which started at 8:30 pm ET.  After time zone adjustment, we expect the official national rating for the game to rise to a 7.5 rating, a solid but not spectacular Sunday Night Football game rating (given the games have rated over a 10 rating in some weeks).  But for a Christmas night, this is an excellent performance.

On the other networks, the only other significant viewing in primetime Sunday night was on ABC from 7-8 pm ET, when the overrun of the NBA Chicago Bulls-Los Angeles Lakers averaged a preliminary 3.3 rating.  (This number should rise to a low- to mid-4 rating after LA and the rest of the West Coast is properly counted in the official  nationals.)  The classic How the Grinch Stole Christmas animated special scored a 1.7 from 8:00-8:30, while the 2000 Jim Carrey movie version of the Dr Seuss book averaged a 1.1 from 8:30-11:00.  Repeats on CBS and FOX Sunday stayed at a 1.0 rating or below.

On Saturday night, NBC’s traditional Christmas Eve broadcast of Frank Capra’s classic It’s a Wonderful Life (from 1946) won the night with a 1.4 rating.  The movie started slowly in the 8:00 pm half hour with a 0.9 rating but continued to build throughout the night to a 1.9 rating from 10:30-11:00.  FOX was second with a two-hour Terra Nova repeat (1.0 rating) from 8-10 pm, and ABC finished third with a 0.9 rating for 1965’s The Sound of Music.  CBS averaged a 0.8 rating Saturday night with repeat series and news magazines. 


About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."