‘Rockin’ Eve’ hits 5-year-high

ABC perennial was last week's top entertainment series

They’re still popping the cork at ABC.

Final numbers for New Year’s Eve show another dominant victory for the Alphabet and its Dick Clark “Rockin’ Eve” special, which hit a five-year high in overall viewership and produced a higher rating than any primetime entertainment series for the week.

Looking at the Nielsen estimates for the hour sandwiching the annual midnight drop of the ball at Times Square in New York (11:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m.), “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2011” averaged a robust 18.8 million viewers and a 6.2 rating/23 share in adults 18-49.

It beat out the combined audiences of NBC’s “New Year’s Eve with Carson Daly” and Fox’s “New Year’s Eve — Time Square” by about 30% in both total viewers and the demo. The top New Year’s Eve program on cable, BET’s “106 & Party,” drew 2 million total viewers.

“New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” was up by 1.1 million viewers year to year for its second straight year of growth and the program’s largest audience since 2005. Youngsters, especially, stayed up late this year, with the show hitting a five-year-high among teens 12-17 (5.5/23) and matching its top score among kids 2-11 in seven years (4.7/12).

A later hour of “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” coverage from about 1 to 2 a.m. averaged 5.2 million viewers for ABC.

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