America Still Loves ‘Lucy’ As 8.7 Million Watch Colorized CBS Special

Repackaged pair of episodes from '50s series dominates among older viewers, wins in 18-49 too

CBS dug into its vaults on Friday night and drew more than 8 million viewers for the “I Love Lucy Christmas Special.”

The hourlong spec, featuring colorized versions of two episodes from the classic B&W series from the ’50s, averaged a 1.4 rating/5 share in adults 18-49, making it the top show of the night in this demo — even if none of these viewers were around to see any of “I Love Lucy’s” original run on the Eye.

Though a 5 share is solid in this day and age, Friday’s special did a 7 share among adults 25-54. And among those 55 and older, it commanded 14% of all viewing in the night’s 8 o’clock hour.

In total viewers, the “I Love Lucy Christmas Special” averaged 8.7 million viewers to easily win its timeslot. The only programs to draw larger audiences on the night were the ones that followed it on CBS: original episodes of “Hawaii Five-0” (9.4 million) and “Blue Bloods” (10.2 million).

Friday’s special featured the once-thought-lost Christmas episode that never aired in syndication as well as the memorable episode when Lucy stomped grapes in Italy in preparation for an acting role. CBS colorized the episode with a “vintage look” in a “nod to the 1950s period in which the shows were filmed.”

There wasn’t much else fresh airing on Friday night, but ABC managed a tie with CBS for the night’s leadership in adults 18-49 thanks to two repeats of “Shark Tank” and a fresh “20/20” (1.2/4 in 18-49, 5.5 million viewers overall).

NBC hung in there with another airing of “It’s a Wonderful Life” (1.1/4 in 18-49, 5.4 million viewers overall), leaving the Peacock close behind CBS and ABC in 18-49.

Fox aired repeats of crime drama “Bones” (0.8/3 in 18-49, 2.6 million viewers overall) and the special “Happiness is a Warm Blanket, Charlie Brown” (0.8/2 in 18-49, 1.9 million viewers overall).

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