NBC’s holiday gift

'Frasier' serves Peacock Christmas cheer

‘Tis a week to be jolly over at NBC: Thanks to the best “Frasier” perf in five years, the Peacock net claimed the No. 1 position among adults 18-49 last week for the first time since Nov. 1.

CBS also had reason to break out the eggnog, with the Sunday holiday pic “Miracle on the 17th Green” helping the net tie NBC for the Nielsen crown in homes for the week of Dec. 13-19.

Holiday segs of NBC’s Thursday stalwarts helped that net deliver an average of 24.9 million people for the night, a number NBC said is the largest aud for any web on any night this season.

“ER” (29.1 million viewers, 13.3/36 with adults 18-49) was the week’s most-watched show, but “Frasier” (28.5 million viewers, 12.7/33) was the real winner of Thursday night.

With a seg in which Daphne finally found out that Niles is in love with her, the Peacock laffer attracted the largest tune-in for any comedy this season. Episode was the most-watched “Frasier” since May 19, 1994, and the sixth most-watched in the history of the Par-produced skein.

The Eye’s original holiday-themed pic “Miracle” was the week’s most-watched movie (16.7 million viewers), crushing NBC’s annual showing of “It’s a Wonderful Live” (10.52 million viewers.)

Younger auds, however, chose the old school route: NBC’s broadcast of the Frank Capra classic was tops for the week in adults 18-49 (4.9/12), slipping past the Eye’s original (4.4/12.)

In the battle of the weblets, UPN averaged a 1.6 rating/5 share with adults 18-34, squeaking by the WB (1.5/5.)

The week’s adults 18-49 averages were: NBC (5.2/15, up 6%); ABC (4.1/12, down 5%); Fox (3.9/11, down 13%); CBS (3.7/11, even). The WB and UPN tied with a 1.4/4.

The homes tally had CBS and NBC each averaging an 8.9 rating/15 share. ABC (7.2/12) was third, followed by Fox (5.5/09), WB (2.7/4) and UPN (2.5/4).


ABC won Dec. 20 in homes and adults 18 to 49, assisted by a tight game between the Minnesota Vikings and Green Bay Packers on “Monday Night Football.” The matchup posted a 15.1 rating and 26 share in households, and averaged a 7.3/20 in adults 18 to 49.

The Vikings/Packers contest gave “Monday Night Football” its third-highest rated performance this season. Also, the Alphabet web posted its highest numbers for the night (12.2/20 in homes, 7.3 rating among adults 18 to 49) since “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire’s” final Monday appearance on Nov. 22.

That brought CBS’ “Everybody Loves Raymond” and Fox’s “Ally McBeal” back down to earth, after having beat football among homes and adults 18 to 49, respectively, last week.

“Raymond” took second place at 9 p.m. in households with a 10.9/17, while “Ally” was second in adults 18 to 49 with a 7.0 rating. CBS was second for the night with a 8.8/14 in homes.

Meanwhile, NBC’s Monday night continued to fade, landing in fourth place among both homes (6.1/10) and 3.2 among adults 18 to 49. A repeat “Veronica’s Closet” landed what’s probably one of the skein’s lowest-ever numbers, a 3.8/6 in homes and 2.4 in adults 18 to 49.


CBS got an early Christmas present Sunday, winning the night among households (13.1/19) and adults 18 to 49 (5.5 rating) thanks to NFL football overruns.

Strong perfs from “60 Minutes” (13.4/22 homes, 5.1 adults 18 to 49) “Touched by an Angel” (11.4/18 homes, 4.5 adults 18 to 49) and the movie “Miracle on the 17th Green” (11.4/19 homes, 4.4 adults 18 to 49) also gave the Eye a boost.

It was a semi-wonderful life at NBC, where the web’s annual exclu showing of “It’s a Wonderful Life” was up 36% over last year in adults 18 to 49 (4.9 rating). But the network still ended up in third place for the night in the demo (4.3 rating).

“The Simpsons'” Christmas episode, featuring the voice-over work of “Diff’rent Strokes” alum Gary Coleman, was the highest-rated program of the night among adults 18 to 49 (6.3 rating), not counting CBS’ football overrun.


Viewers were doing last-minute holiday shopping, giving the webs not much to celebrate on the night. Regular programming won the night, as CBS took homes (6.9/13) with its usual “Early Edition,” “Martial Law” and “Walker, Texas Ranger” skeins, while Fox took the adults 18 to 49 crown (3.9 rating) with the normal “Cops”/ “America’s Most Wanted” sked.

ABC and NBC struck out with theatrical reruns: ABC with “The Preacher’s Wife” (6.4/12 homes, 3.4 adults 18 to 49) and NBC with “Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls” (4.3/8 homes, 2.8 adults 18 to 49).


NBC took the night, thanks to a strong perf by “Providence,” which averaged a 10.6/20 in homes and 4.9 in adults 18 to 49.

The web averaged a 8.9/16 for the night in homes and 3.9 in adults 18 to 49. CBS took second in homes with a 6.8/12, while ABC was second in adults 18 to 49 with a 3.1 rating.

Fox’s new Christmas special “Olive, the Other Reindeer” averaged a 2.2 rating among adults 18 to 49, while a special holiday showing of “The Pjs,” which still hasn’t received a midseason berth, took a 2.1 in the demo.


NBC’s competitors didn’t even show up to play, giving the Peacock its easiest Thursday night win of the season. Among adults 18 to 49, NBC averaged a 11.5 rating. The other nets scrambled to pick up the crumbs: Fox was in second with a 3.3 rating, followed by ABC with a 3.2 rating.

UPN smacked CBS, posting a 2.5 rating in the demo vs. the Eye’s 2.2. The WB settled for a 1.2.

“ER” took the night with a 20.0 rating/33 share in homes and 13.3 rating among adults 18 to 49.


NBC won the night in adults 18-49 and homes, with Golden Globe-nominated frosh drama “The West Wing” soaring into the top 20 in total viewers.

Fox saw a glimmer of hope with the return of “Get Real”: The 9 p.m. drama had its best-ever adults 18-49 and 18-34 averages.


Eye claimed its third consecutive Tuesday in homes, with “JAG” and “Judging Amy” soaring. Latter drama had its best adults 18-49 numbers since mid-October.

NBC won in adults 18-49, with a repeat “Frasier” at 9:30 p.m. boosting “Dateline” at 10 p.m. to the best 18-49 Nielsens of any newsmag last week.

ABC’s “SportsNight” had its best 18-49 tally since October and also scored its best-ever retention of a lead-in.


The Eye had another solid night, with “Everybody Loves Raymond” beating both “Ally McBeal” and “Monday Night Football” at 9 p.m. with the laffer’s second largest aud ever. ABC won the night in viewers and adults 18-49.

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