Frosty, Grinch and NFL Rule Weekend

TVWeek's James Hibberd: Rated

Published on .

Holiday specials and sports once again determined the weekend ratings, with a combination of decades-old animated chestnuts and live NFL games spiking the Nielsens. Left in the cold: Mitch Albom, whose latest feel-good homily "For One More Day" broke the author's streak of winning ABC movies.

Sunday: A half-hour of highly rated NFL overrun (8.1 preliminary among adults 18 to 49) on CBS pushed the network into first place ahead of NBC, which aired the otherwise top-rated "Sunday Night Football: Indianapolis Colts at Baltimore Ravens" (4.5).

The overrun threw the rest of CBS' night off schedule, so ratings for "60 Minutes" (4.3), "The Amazing Race" (3.8), "Cold Case" (3.0) and "Shark" (2.2) are likely to shift in the nationals. NBC's "Football Night in America" pre-game (2.8) and "Sunday Night Football" scored one of their weaker in-season performances to date.

In third place, ABC's "America's Funniest Home Videos" (2.6) and "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" (4.4) were roughly on par.

But ABC's original movie "Mitch Albom's For One More Day" (3.2) was off 48% from 2004's "The Five People You Meet in Heaven" (6.2) and even further from 1999's "Tuesdays With Morrie" (8.0). Luckily for future Albom projects, there's life after broadcast—just surrender and go toward the light of basic cable.

Fox's animated comedies, now mostly in repeats, came in fourth with an original "King of the Hill" (3.1) and "American Dad" (3.2) in the mix.

The CW had repeats and "Life Is Wild" (0.4).

Saturday: ABC's fourth presentation of Jim Carrey's "Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas" feature (2.4) easily dominated the night.

Friday: CBS's double header of the much-beloved "Frosty the Snowman" (2.7 preliminary rating among adults 18 to 49) and the not-quite-as-beloved "Frosty Returns" (2.4) helped the network edge out NBC's regular lineup for the nightly win.

Also on Friday, Fox tried swapping the time periods of "Don't Forget the Lyrics" (1.3) and "The Next Great American Band" (1.2) and ended up with about the same cumulative rating as last week, but it was more evenly spread between the two programs.
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