Charlie Brown, Parade Hot, Lady Gaga

About 3.6 million watch singer's holiday special with the Muppets; football on NBC rules evening

Traidtional holiday faves like the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on NBC and “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” on ABC scored strong ratings on Thursday but the Alphabet’s special featuring Lady Gaga and the Muppets failed to bring in much of a crowd.

According to preliminary national estimates from Nielsen, “Lady Gaga & The Muppets’ Holiday Spectacular” averaged a 0.9 rating in adults 18-49/3 share and 3.6 million viewers overall from 9:30 to 11 p.m. While that left it behind football on NBC and repeats on CBS, it matched Fox’s “Glee” original in the demo while drawing more total viewers.

The special saw the singer and puppet ensemble perform songs from her new album with guests including Elton John, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Kristen Bell. Gaga was looking to recruit new fans as her “Artpop” recently bowed at No. 1 on the Billboard albums chart but took a sharp dive in its second week.

The nets don’t often schedule original episodes of series on Thanksgiving, and Fox didn’t do much with either “Glee” (0.9/3 in 18-49, 2.8 million viewers overall) or “The X Factor” (1.0/3 in 18-49, 3.8 million viewers overall), which hit lows.

Earlier in the evening, ABC fared better with “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving,” which averaged a 1.5/5 in 18-49 and 5.3 million viewers overall — up 45% in the demo (from 1.1/4) and 32% in total viewers (from 4.0 million). The special likely benefited from the conclusion of the Raiders-Cowboys NFL game on CBS, which wrapped a couple of minutes after 8 p.m. in the East and freed up a lot of viewers.

Ratings weren’t available for the daytime football games on Fox and CBS, but NBC’s primetime matchup of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens averaged an 11.8 household rating/24 share in Nielsen’s metered-market overnights. This is up 3% from last year’s game between the New England Patriots and New York Jets (11.5/23).

In fast nationals, the game did a 6.0 rating in adults 18-49 and 18.6 million viewers overall on NBC’s stations from 8:30 to 11.

Earlier in the day on NBC, the 87th annual “Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade,” hosted by Matt Lauer, Savannah Guthrie and Al Roker of “Today,” averaged a 13.5 household rating/28 share in Nielsen’s 56 local markets. This is up 11% from last year’s 12.2/26, making Thursday’s coverage the event’s highest overnights since 2002 (15.0).

In the nationals, last year’s “Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade” averaged 22.42 million viewers, giving this year’s event a good shot at surpassing the 2001 audience of 23.1 million, which had been the high in this millennium.

In the 25 markets with Local People Meters, the parade averaged a 7.2 rating/30 share in adults 18-49, up 9% from last year (6.6/27) and the best in 10 years.

Following the parade, NBC’s coverage of “The National Dog Show Presented by Purina” did a 6.0/14 in the metered-market overnights, up 13% above last year’s 5.3/12 and the event’s best result in nine years.

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