After al these years, ‘I Love Lucy’ won its time periods again and brought The Tiffany Network to #1 again on Friday. Technically reruns, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnez, along with Fred and Ethel Roberta Louise Mae Mertz (née Potter), began the evening at 8P, with colorized versions of the famed television series, and had 8.57 million viewers, millions more than their closes competitors. At 830P, with another Christmas special, ‘Lucy’ pulled in even more, a whopping 8.75 million viewers, nearly four million more viewers than their closest competitor. Hail to the Queen of Television. She is a funny as she was when it aired, in the early ’50s. That’s right. We were all watching a television program that was 60+ years old. At 9P, ‘Hawaii Five-O’ in a very unusual pre-Christmas episode, drew big numbers and continued CBS dominance on this Friday with 9.32 million then increased it at 930P with 9.45 million. At 10P, ‘Blue Bloods’ powered to the top with 10.05 million viewers and at 1030P, it delivered 10.29 million, the high water mark for the evening. As the family gathered around the Reagan dinning room table, Danny’s foibles exposed by facing a difficult situation with a childhood friend, another Friday was in the pocket of CBS and once again, it proved that big audiences are available on this night if you know your audience. The ties and suits at Television City understand that better than most.
ABC had two hours of reruns of ‘Shark Tank’ leading off the evening. At 8P, it drew 5.08 million while at 830P it had 4.93 million. At 9P it did pull in 5.44 million viewers and at 930P, ‘Shark Tank’ finished again with 5.44 million viewers. At 10P, ’20/20′ produced 5.45 million viewers and at 1030P, it pulled in 5.53 million. Thus, The Alphabet Network finished a distant #2 behind the juggernaut that is CBS. (NOTE: Here’s how ABC spun the ratings on Friday…’ABC is #1 on Friday for the 3rd Straight Week with a Repeat ‘Shark Tank’ Winning at 9 PM and ’20/20′ #1 at 10pm’)
NBC was close behind its ABC rival as it presented an entire evening with the Frank Capra classic, ‘It’s A Wonderful Night’. A Christmas tradition, this film classic drew 4.94 million at 8P; followed at 830P with 4.95 million and at 9P, jumped to 5.52 million viewers. At 930P, 5.47 million watched while at 10P, it jumped back up to 5.55 million and finished at 1030P with the evening’s high for the film with 5.75 million viewers. The 1946 classic starring Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed is one of the critically acclaimed movies ever made and it honored by being named one of AFI’s Top 100 American Films ever made. For a movie that was from the book titled, ‘The Greatest Gift’ by Philip Van Doren Stern, and originally a film vehicle for Cary Grant at RKO, the Capra film was not a box office hit when it came out but finished with $6.6 million in box office receipts nearly 70 years ago. Imagine, 70 years later, more people saw it on NBC than at the theaters across America during its opening week. (NOTE: Here’s how NBC spun the ratings…
‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ Up 38% vs. Year-ago Saturday Telecast’.)
FOX had a ‘Bones’ rerun lead off the evening at 8P with 3.3 million and at 830P, 3.47 million viewers. At 9P, another rerun, ‘Happiness Is A Warm Blanket: Charlie Brown’ and drew 1.86 million and at 930P, 1.93 million. Both good programs, they didn’t stand a chance on this Friday.
The CW at 8P ‘The Carrie Diaries’ pulled in 979,000 viewers while at 830P it fell to 768,000 viewers, a loss of over 200,000 viewers in one half hour. At 9P, ‘Nikita’ drew 738,000 viewers and at 930P, it could only pull in 748,000. It was not a good night for The Little Network That Could. It simply couldn’t.
For the record, CBS was #1 with 9.40 million viewers as NBC finished #2 with 5.37 million. ABC was #3 on this Friday with 5.31 million while Fox finished with 2.64 million. The CW drew an average of 808,000 viewers.
ACROSS THE POND:
ITV charity fundraiser ‘Text Santa’ at 8P was the top UK television show for Friday ratings outside of soaps, beating BBC One. The program, raised a total of £4.2m for six UK charities. It averaged 4.68 million viewers (23.5% share of audience).
BBC One at 630P, ‘Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two’ had an audience of 2.3 million (11.5%). ‘University Challenge’ and ‘Mastermind’ had 2.01 million viewers (9.4%) and 2.07 million (9.5%) viewers respectively. ‘Have I Got News For You’ drew 3.71 million (17.5%) at 9P. At 930P, ‘Live At The Apollo’, had 2.45 million (11.9%). At 10P, ‘QI drew 1.4 million (7.4%).At 1045P, ‘The Graham Norton Show’ drew 3.31 million (21.8%).
Christmas cooking program Gordon Ramsay’s ‘Festive Home Cooking’ was viewed by 930,000. At 9P, ‘Big Fat Gypsy Christmas’ was watched by a surprising 1.49 million viewers.
Alan Carr: Chatty Man fell to 860,000 viewers (4.8%), down from last week’s 1.02m (7.3%). A further 174.1k watched on Channel 4+1.
Channel 5 at 8P had ‘Stobart: Trucks, Trains and Planes’ with 77,150 viewers. At 9P, action film ‘Eraser’ and drew 654,900 viewers.
BBC Three at 9P had ‘Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy’. It drew 804,1000 viewers (4%).
E4’s Christmas action classic ‘Die Hard’ at 9P drew 241,000 viewers (1.4%).
No matter where one was watching television on Friday, people were…
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