Viewership was pretty low on Christmas night, as expected, but ABC had a solid showing and won among young adults with the conclusion of an attractive NBA matchup and a double-helping of the Grinch.
Univision moved up to second place among the broadcasters with original episodes of its weeknight novelas.
According to preliminary national estimates from Nielsen, ABC dominated Tuesday’s opening half-hour with the final 30 minutes of the pro basketball contest between the Miami Heat and Oklahoma City Thunder, which averaged a 3.0 rating/9 share in adults 18-49 and 8.4 million viewers overall (and should be revised upward in the nationals.)
From there, ABC aired a repeat of the half-hour holiday classic “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” (2.3/7 in 18-49, 6.3 million viewers overall), followed by an encore of the 2000 theatrical of the same name (roughly 1.7/5 in 1849, 4.5 million viewers overall from 9 to 11).
The Miami-Oklahoma City contest averaged a 6.0 overnight household rating, according to Nielsen, making it the fourth highest-rated NBA regular-season game ever on ABC. And the preceding game between the New York Knicks and Los Angeles Lakers did a 5.9 overnight rating — the highest in the Christmas late-afternoon window since 2004.
On ESPN, the Houston-Chicago game (8 p.m. ET) did a 1.7 overnight rating and the Denver-Los Angeles Clippers matchup (10:30 p.m. ET) did a 2.0. Add in the early Boston-Brooklyn game (noon ET), which did a 2.7 overnight rating, and the cabler enjoyed its highest-rated Christmas tripleheader on record.
CBS was runner-up in demos Christmas night, and handily won in total viewers, with its repeats of Tuesday regulars “NCIS” (1.4/4 in 18-49, 9.7 million viewers overall), “NCIS: Los Angeles” (1.4/4 in 18-49, 8.6 million viewers overall) and “Vegas” (1.1/3 in 18-49, 6.0 million viewers overall).
NBC went with a repeat of the movie “Horton Hears a Who” (1.1/3 in 18-49, 3.3 million viewers overall) and a special rebroadcast of the special “Blake Shelton’s Not-So-Family Christmas” (0.7/2 in 18-49, 2.5 million viewers overall).
Fox aired four encores of “New Girl” at 8 (0.7/2 in 18-49, 1.9 million viewers overall), 8:30 (0.6/2 in 18-49, 1.5 million viewers overall), 9 (0.5/2 in 18-49, 1.5 million viewers overall) and 9:30 (0.7/2 in 18-49, 1.7 million viewers overall).
Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: ABC, 2.0/6; Univision, 1.4/4; CBS, 1.3/4; NBC, 0.9/3; Fox, 0.6/2; CW, 0.2/1.
In total viewers: CBS, 8.1 million; ABC, 5.4 million; Univision, 3.5 million; NBC, 2.9 million; Fox, 1.6 million; CW, 0.7 million.