Holiday Ratings Highlights: 'Pirates,' 'Kranks' and Dick Clark

TVWeek's James Hibberd: Rated

Published on .

Since faithful readers surely ignored all other ratings news sources while this blog was on vacation, let's run through some semi-recent non-sports highlights. If you've heard any of this before, just make like you're opening a holiday present when you already know what's inside and politely pretend to be entertained:

Dec 19: CBS got away with airing "Frosty the Snowman" (2.4) and "Frosty Returns" (2.0) for the second time in two weeks.

Dec. 20: After their neck-and-neck debuts, NBC's "Clash of the Choirs" managed to best ABC's "Duel" for four consecutive nights. But both shows posted series lows during their finales (1.9 for "Duel" and 2.1 for "Clash"), making a rematch next year less likely.

Dec 24: The 31st reported airing of "It's a Wonderful Life" (1.5) on NBC readily trounced Fox's "Cheaper by the Dozen" (0.8) on Christmas Eve, but both were trumped by ABC's premiere of the animated comedy feature film "Madagascar" (1.7).

Dec. 25: There's arguably something dispiriting about a game show—NBC's "Deal or No Deal" (2.6)—being the highest-rated program on Christmas night. Also, ABC aired the three-hour presentation of "Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl" (2.0) for the fifth time.

Dec. 26: If "Deal" winning Christmas was only potentially dispiriting, this definitely is: Fox's presentation of the movie "Christmas With the Kranks" (2.4)—a title that ranks among the worst-reviewed holiday movies of all time—tied a "Law & Order: SVU" repeat to win the next night. The same night: CBS' airing of "The Kennedy Center Honors" (1.2) posted its lowest-rated performance since 2002 (when it aired on a Friday), down 37% from last year.

Dec. 29: ABC aired a Saturday night "Samantha Who" marathon to counter-program NFL games on CBS and NBC. Though ABC placed fourth, the show picked up some additional sampling to average about a 1.3 rating.

Dec. 31: "Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve" was up 11% from last year to rank as the top program Monday night (3.1), helping ABC win the night. Viewers were divided on whether the stroke-impaired Clark was "valiant" for continuing to do the show or "ghoulish."

Overall: From Dec. 1 through Tuesday night, CBS won 12 nights (including two ties), NBC won 10 (including two ties), ABC and Fox won six each.
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