Classic “A Charlie Brown Christmas” delivers smiles for ABC


Up Year to Year in Viewers, ABC’s Replay “A Charlie Brown Christmas” Places A Strong No. 2 to “Biggest Loser” at 8p in Adults 18-49 and Dominates in Kids 2-11

TV’s No. 1 Holiday Special This Season in Viewers and Young Adults, ABC’s Debut Of Disney’s “Prep & Landing” Stands as Tuesday’s No. 2 TV Show in Adults 18-49

Excluding Only Super Bowls, ABC’s “Prep & Landing” Marks Television’s Highest Kids 2-11 Rating for Any Primetime Broadcast in Nearly 2 Years 

Opposite the “Biggest Loser” Season Finale, “Scrubs” Grows from its Week-Ago Season Opener in Viewers and Young Adults, Ranking No. 2 at 9pm in Key Men

Topping its Previous 7 Original Telecasts, “Better Off Ted” Premieres With its Strongest Numbers Since April in Viewers and Young Adults

“A Charlie Brown Christmas” (8:00-8:30 p.m.)
Against competition including the season finale of NBC’s “Biggest Loser,” ABC’s rebroadcast of the animated holiday classic “A Charlie Brown Christmas” finished a strong No. 2 in its half-hour in Adults 18-49 (3.7/11), beating slot-regulars CBS’ “NCIS” replay by 37% (2.7/8) and Fox’s original “So You Think You Can Dance” by 54% in Adults 18-49 (2.4/7).  The Charlie Brown special towered over its slot with Kids 2-11, topping the combined delivery of CBS, Fox, NBC and CW in the half-hour by 44% (5.9/17 vs. 4.1/13), and finished as the No. 2 TV show of the night behind only its lead-out, ABC’s debut of “Prep & Landing.”
Versus the year-ago night with original programming (“AFV” special on 12/9/08), “A Charlie Brown Christmas” boosted the time period year to year for ABC by 4.3 million viewers (11.3 million vs. 7.0 million) and by 95% in Adults 18-49 (3.7/11 vs. 1.9/5).
The Peanuts special was up year to year in Total Viewers and held even with Adults 18-49 (11.0 million and 3.7/10 on 12/8/08).
“Prep & Landing” (8:30-9:00 p.m.)
Building on its lead-in opposite a growing “Biggest Loser,” ABC’s debut of “Prep & Landing” earned a strong second to “Loser” at 8:30 p.m. in Adults 18-49 (4.1/11), topping “NCIS” by 41% (2.9/8) and Fox’s “Dance” by 71% in Adults 18-49 (2.4/6). “Prep & Landing” is ABC’s first television special produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios. The holiday special reveals the never-before-told tale of an elite unit of Elves known as “Prep & Landing.”  In fact the new Disney holiday special stood as the No. 2 TV program of the night with Adults 18-49, behind only the 2-hour season-closer of “Biggest Loser.”  

“Prep & Landing” (12.1 million and 4.1/11) emerged as the TV’s No. 1 holiday special this season with viewers and young adults, topping CBS’ week-earlier airing of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” (10.6 million and 3.8/11 on 12/2/09).

In addition to standing as Tuesday’s definitive No. 1 TV show with Kids 2-11 (7.5/22), “Prep & Landing” delivered the highest kids rating for any primetime telecast on broadcast TV so far this season.   In fact excluding only Super Bowl telecasts, it was the top Kids 2-11 number for any primetime broadcast in nearly 2 years – since 1/15/08, with the season premiere of Fox’s “American Idol.”

“Prep & Landing” greatly improved the slot year to year for ABC by 4.9 million viewers and by 105% in Adults 18-49 over the year-ago evening with an original “AFV” special (7.2 million and 2.0/5).

“Scrubs” (9:00-9:30 p.m.)
In the 9:00 p.m. half-hour opposite the “Biggest Loser” finale, ABC’s “Scrubs” jumped over its week-ago season premiere by 17% in Total Viewers (5.4 million vs. 4.6 million) and by 15% in Adults 18-49 (2.3/6 vs. 2.0/5).  “Scrubs” finished No. 2 in the half-hour to the veteran NBC unscripted series with key Men:  M18-34 (2.2/7) and M18-49 (2.3/6).

“Better Off Ted” (9:30-10:00 p.m.)
On its season premiere at 9:30 p.m., ABC’s “Better Off Ted” topped its previous 7 original telecasts, drawing its biggest audience (3.8 million) and top Adult 18-49 (1.5/4) number since April (4/22/09).  

A note about increasing DVR penetration and year-to-year rating comparisons: Year-to-year rating comparisons based on the Live + Same Day data stream are distorted by the level of DVR penetration in the Nielsen sample, which has jumped up to more than 33% currently, from 28% at the same point in 2008.  More viewers are watching shows on their own timetables, which may not be reflected in the overnight next day numbers. The only truly valid year-to-year comparison would be one based on the Live + 7 Day metric, once those stats are released by Nielsen.

(source: data and information provided by ABC. – Nielsen Media Research (Fast Affiliate, Live + Same Day Ratings), 12/8/09)