From 8-11 p.m., an encore telecast of the 1946 movie classic “It’s a Wonderful Life” (1.4/5 in 18-49, 4.6 million viewers) won the night, delivering the highest adult 18-49 rating and biggest overall audience for any theatrical motion picture carried on ABC, CBS, NBC or Fox so far this season.
The last theatrical movie to score a 1.4 rating or better in 18-49 on any of those networks was ABC’s “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End” on May 14 (1.4). In total viewers, the last motion picture to top the 4.6 million for “It’s a Wonderful Life” on Christmas Eve was ABC’s “The Ten Commandments” on April 23 (6.7 million).
“It’s a Wonderful Life” scored NBC’s highest 18-49 rating for a non-sports Saturday since June 5, 2010. In total viewers, it’s NBC’s top Saturday since October 1. From its first half-hour to its sixth, “It’s a Wonderful Life” increased its 18-49 rating by 111 percent (to a 1.9 from a 0.9) and its overall viewership by 88 percent or 2.8 million persons (to 5.9 million from 3.1 million).
NBC won Saturday night in adults 18-49 and total viewers and was also #1 among ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox in all other key ratings categories (including a tie with Fox in men 18-34).
This marks NBC’s 32nd primetime telecast of “It’s a Wonderful Life,” directed by Frank Capra and starring Jimmy Stewart, since the movie was brought to broadcast network television in 1994. In 2006, the American Film Institute named “It’s a Wonderful Life” the most inspiring movie of all time in its list of America’s 100 Most Inspiring Movies.