Leave it to CBS to bring out Rudolph and Frosty, along with a new ’48 Hours’ and win the night. At 8P, ‘Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer’ in one of the oldest reruns of all-time, pulled in an average of 5.77 million viewers for #1 in its time slot. It was created for NBC and made its debut on December 6, 1964. But in 1972, CBS was able to get the rights to it and has run it annually ever since. It seems the suits at Black Rock understood ‘content is king’ even back then. By the way, Burl Ives played ‘Sam The Snowman’ in Rudolph. At 8P, ‘Frosty The Snowman’, which was created by the same team that did ‘Rudolph’ and first shown on CBS on December 7, 1969, and every year since, pulled in 4.885 million and again was #1 in the time period. ’48 Hours’ finished off the evening at #1 in its time period with an average of 5.115 million. Another complete sweep by CBS, partially in thanks to a shrewd business decision 49 years ago.
ABC was into reruns and at 8P pulled out ‘The Great Christmas Light Fight’ again and drew 3.21 million viewers, good for #2 in its time slot and set the stage for The Alphabet Network to finished second on this Saturday evening. At 9P, ‘CMA Country Christmas’ rerun for two hours drew an average of 3.85 million and interestingly enough, increased viewership each and every half hour of the evening, peaking at 1030P with 4.09 million viewers.
NBC tried its hand at reruns Saturday and pulled out its new version of ‘The Sound of Music’. and averaged 3.185 million viewers. However, in all fairness, it drew over 18 million viewers just a week ago and this one was for family and friends. It will be interesting to see how it did in LIVE +7 ratings results when they come out. The total number of viewers could be epic.
FOX tried something completely different and … it did OK. They presented all evening the ‘UFC: Johnson vs. Benavidez’ fight, trying to emulate the old days of television in its infancy when ‘Pabst Blue Ribbon Presents Fight Night’ was in its heyday. It drew 2.643 million viewers but what made it important was that FOX was on for three hours in prime time. And, the programming peaked at 10P with 3.23 million viewers, just 220,000 viewers behind NBC’s musical.
For the record: CBS was #1 with 5.20 million viewers. ABC came in second with 3.64 million; NBC #3 with 3.16 million and Fox finished #4 with 2.64 million.
ACROSS THE POND:
The semi-finals are here. On BBC One, ‘Strictly Come Dancing’, the UK’s favorite Saturday evening program, pulled in 9.94 million viewers (44.8% share of available audience), hitting its peak with 10.61 million. ‘Atlantis’ followed and drew 4.2 million (17.8%) at 820P. Then, ‘Casualty’ drew 3.69 million (15.8%) at 905P. At 935P, ‘The Match of the Day’ featuring Manchester City vs Arsenal drew 3.51 million (2.7%). It was clearly a solid Saturday for BBC One.
Over on ITV, ‘The X-Factor’, once the mightiest of the might, could do no better than #2 on this evening as it drew 8.24 million viewers (34.9%), the highest of the season. In this two-parter, three finalist battled it out. Final results on Sunday. Still, it has been a disappointing season for ‘The X-Factor’ as in its strongest showing it was still 1.7 million behind its rival reality series. Singing just doesn’t beat dancing any more. ‘The Chase: Celebrity Special’ pulled in 3.3 million viewers (14.3%) while at 1005P, ‘The Jonathan Ross Show’ featuring Will Ferrell drew 3.7 million viewers (20.2%) as Ron Burgandy invaded the UK. Scotch, anyone?
BBC Two had ‘Tron Legacy’ at 8P which drew 910,000 viewers (3.9%) and ‘The Science Doctor’ 670,000 viewers (3.4%) at 955P.
Channel 4’s biggest program of the night was ‘Cornwall: Walking Through History’ which drew 1.2 million viewers (5.5%) at 8P. ‘Psychopath Night’, a study on mental illness, drew 1.05 million viewers right after ‘Cornwall’ (4.8%)
Channel 5 presented ‘The Bible’ which drew 696,000 viewers (3.2%) followed by Kevin Costner’s ‘Prince of Thieves’ 326,000 viewers (3.7%).
And just for the record, BBC Three presented the original ‘Anchorman’ and drew 733,000 viewers (3.2%) prior to next week’s Will Ferrell sequel making its debut in the UK.
As you can see, people everywhere were…
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