Nat’l Geo scores for NBC

Spec gets best ratings in 3 years

National Geographic has wrapped the millennium on a high note, recording its highest Nielsens since 1996.

A Dec. 22 National Geographic spec, “Millennium: Adventures in Time,” won the night for NBC, averaging a 9.2 rating, 16 share in homes and a 5.0/15 in adults 18-49, according to preliminary Nielsens for the night.

That households average is the best for a National Geographic spec since a May 15, 1996 seg on the Arctic earned a cool 10.4/19.

Since that Wednesday highlight, holiday distractions have generally depressed ratings results. NBC led Thursday overnights as usual, but with a below-average 10.4/18 in households. Christmas Eve also fell to NBC, which muddled through with a mere 5.0/11. CBS led Dec. 25 overnights with an OK 6.2/13.

“Pokemon,” meanwhile, has added a few new pages to the Kids’ WB record book.

A Dec. 18 marathon featuring six half-hours of the Japanese animation import collected the highest Kids’ WB Saturday-morning average ever — a 6.0 rating, 24 share, among kids 2-11. That was good enough to beat the morning’s No. 2 choice, cable’s Nickelodeon (4.1/18), by 6 shares.

The 4 p.m. weekday “Pokemon” also battled to best-ever kids 2-11 Nielsens, averaging a 5.8/27 for the Dec. 13-17 week. That kept Kids’ WB No. 1 among children for its weekday block of morning and afternoon kids shows.

The record-setting Saturday marathon stretched from 8:30 a.m. to noon, except for an 11-11:30 episode of “Detention” (a series-record 5.5/20 in kids 2-11).

Each kids 2-11 rating point reps 398,100 viewers, 1% of the U.S. total. The share is also a percentage, but measured against only viewers watching TV during the slot involved.

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