'Prep & Landing' delivers for ABC

NBC’s “The Biggest Loser” went out with a bang Tuesday, racking up the show’s best numbers in four years. The night also saw a good premiere for ABC’s holiday special “Disney Prep and Landing.”

According to Nielsen estimates that include same-night DVR playback, weight-loss series “Biggest Loser” averaged a 5.0 rating/13 share in adults 18-49 and 13.45 million viewers overall from 8 to 10 p.m., winning each half-hour in key demos, and peakingin the 9:30 p.m. half-hour with a 5.8/15 in 18-49. The finale was up 6% vs. the conclusion to last spring’s edition and 9% vs. last fall’s finale, delivering the best numbers for any installment of the show since its second-season finale in November 2005.

The Peacock’s momentum extended to 10 p.m., where “The Jay Leno Show” (2.9/8 in 18-49, 8.33m) logged its best numbers since its premiere week and easily beat the repeat dramas opposite it on ABC and CBS.

The “Loser”/”Leno” combo lifted NBC to victory in all key demos on the night, including the best 18-49 score for any net on a Tuesday this fall (4.3/12). At ABC, “A Charlie Brown Christmas” opened the night well (3.7/11 in 18-49, 11.17m), on par vs. last year, and led into “Prep and Landing” (4.1/11 in 18-49, 12.04m), the network’s first TV spec produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios.

The tale of an elite group of elves, “Prep and Landing” placed second to “Loser” in the 8:30 p.m. half-hour in most categories and won big, as expected, among kids 2-11 (7.5/22) — drawing the best score in the demo for any broadcast program in nearly two years.

The holiday speshes led into “Scrubs” (2.3/6 in 18-49, 5.44m), which was up a bit week to week thanks to its bigger lead-in, but the second-season premiere of “Better Off Ted” dropped off at 9:30 p.m. (1.5/4 in 18-49, 3.82m); still, it outperformed its last seven original telecasts of last season.

CBS hung in there with repeats of its regular dramas “NCIS” (2.8/8 in 18-49, 15.09m), “NCIS: Los Angeles” (2.3/6, 12.04m) and “The Good Wife” (1.9/5, 9.10m), with “NCIS” still drawing the night’s largest audience.

Fox’s two-hour “So You Think You Can Dance” (2.4/6 in 18-49, 6.25m) was up week to week as it moves closer to its finale, while CW continues to post lackluster numbers on the night with its tandem of “90210” (1.0/3, 1.91m) and “Melrose Place” (0.7/2, 1.26m).

It was a fairly quiet night in cable, with Discovery’s “Dirty Jobs” setting the pace (1.3/4 in 18-49, 2.92m) and MTV’s “Teen Mom” also looking good (1.2/4, 2.13m). “Teen Mom,” which morphed out of the net’s hit series “Sixteen and Pregnant,” was No. 1 across all of television during the 10 o’clock hour among femmes 12-34 (2.7/9) and marks MTV’s highest-rated series launch in more than a year.

At Oxygen, “Bad Girls Club” was on the rise (1.12 million viewers), ranking behind only “Teen Mom” among cable programs in women 18-34 (1.5/5).

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