×

‘New Year’s Rockin’ Eve’ Soars With Mariah Carey Return, Steve Harvey Boosts Fox

UPDATED with ratings for the post-primetime segments

Mariah Carey’s comeback and the mercury’s dip proved a potent combination for ABC’s “Dick Clark’s Primetime New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest” as viewership soared over last year’s telecast.

The 11:30 p.m.-12:32 a.m. ET segment that included Carey’s performance and the ball drop in Times Square delivered an astounding 8.2 rating in adults 18-49 — topping CBS’ Grammy Awards telecast in February as the most-watched music special of 2017 in the key demo. Total viewers for that hour hit 25.6 million, a spike of more than 5 million from the 2017 “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” special and nearly catching the 2017 Grammycast that brought in 26 million viewers.

Even the final hour of the special that stretched past 2 a.m. ET was up significantly from last year, with an average of 8.9 million viewers (up 24%) and a 3.1 demo rating (up 24%).

PREVIOUSLY: ABC averaged 10.5 million viewers and a 3.0 rating/12 share in the adults 18-49 demographic, a spike of more than 50% in both measures over the 2017 telecast, for the 8-10 p.m. ET portion of the annual special.

From 10-11 p.m., the crowd swelled to 15.7 million viewers and a whopping 5.2/20 in the key demo — up 35% and 39%, respectively, from last year. Those numbers marked the highest scores in that hour since the Ryan Seacrest edition of the “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” special bowed in 2000.

Specific viewership figures for the 11 p.m.-midnight hour when Carey performed won’t be available until Tuesday. But it’s clear that America showed up to give the singer another chance after a technical debacle last year led an angry Carey to make a hasty exit from the stage.

Meanwhile, Fox also saw a big bounce in viewership by planting Steve Harvey in Times Square for a live special. Compared to last year’s Pitbull-hosted event from Miami, “Fox’s New Year’s Eve With Steve Harvey” attracted nearly five times the crowd (5.8 million from 8-10 p.m. compared to 1.4 million).

It didn’t hurt that an NFL overrun fed a much larger audience into Harvey’s special than repeats of drama series “Bones” and “Lethal Weapon” did last year for Pitbull. Preliminary Nielsen estimates indicate at that Harvey had a lead-in of at least 10 million viewers from “The OT on Fox” in the 7 p.m. ET hour.

The Harvey special pulled in a healthy 1.8/8 in adults 18-49 from 8-10 p.m. Fox carried the live Harvey special from 8-10 p.m. After an hour break for local news on Fox affiliate stations, Harvey returned for the big countdown to 2018 from 11 p.m.-12:19 a.m. Ratings for the final segment won’t be available until Tuesday.

Popular on Variety

More Music

  • Maya Thurman Hawke at the Premiere

    Maya Hawke Debuts Two Singles Ahead of Album Release

    Fresh off her Manson cult role in Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” Maya Hawke is turning to music. The “Stranger Things” star released two new singles Friday, “To Love a Boy” and “Stay Open,” both of which will appear on her yet-to-be-titled upcoming album. Hawke wrote the lyrics and Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Jesse [...]

  • Woodstock Festival of Arts and Music

    As Woodstock Turns 50, the Fest's 10 Most Sacred Music Moments (Watch)

    Cars were left abandoned along the New York Interstate. Electrical and speaker systems fuzzed and popped. Amps blew then went silent. The rain was endless as the mud sank deep and rank. Young children ran naked and dazed through crowds of strangers. Food was scarce. Water, unclean. Looking back, Woodstock seems a more apocalyptic, than [...]

  • 'ZZ Top: That Little Ol' Band

    Film Review: 'ZZ Top: That Little Ol' Band From Texas'

    Settling in to watch “ZZ Top: That Little Ol’ Band From Texas,” you may have a burning question that applies to almost no other rock documentary, and that is: Who, exactly, are these guys? The ones behind the beards? If you’re old enough, of course, you probably know that ZZ Top started out, in 1969, [...]

  • NEW YORK, NEW YORK - AUGUST

    Jay-Z to Acquire Ownership Stake in NFL Team (Report)

    Jay-Z will soon acquire a “significant ownership interest” in an NFL team, TMZ reported on Friday. The team was not disclosed, but a source told the site the deal will happen in the “near future,” adding that the billionaire rapper “wants to continue to be a change agent for the NFL.” Jay-Z’s company, Roc Nation, [...]

  • (L-R) NELL WILLIAMS as Eliza, VIVEIK

    How 'Blinded by the Light' Brought Bruce Springsteen's Music to the Screen for a Song

    Blinded by the Light co-writer/director Gurinder Chadha knows firsthand what it feels like to be an outsider. Born in Kenya when the country was a British colony, she grew up part of the Indian/Asian diaspora who made their way from East Africa to London. For that reason, the 59-year-old’s movies has always dealt with the [...]

  • Blake Shelton, Trace AdkinsCMA Music Festival

    Blake Shelton Takes a Shot at 'Old Town Road' in New Single

    Blake Shelton and Trace Adkins have just released a duet, “Hell Right,” that seems to have a beef with “Old Town Road.” But is it a light-hearted, maybe even affectionate slam — or should anyone read culture-war significance into the two country stars expressing a preference for Hank Williams Jr. over Lil Nas X, the breakout [...]

  • Led Zeppelin Stairway to Heaven

    Department of Justice Backs Led Zeppelin in ‘Stairway to Heaven’ Copyright Case

    The U.S. Department of Justice has weighed in on the next big music copyright case on the horizon following the Katy Perry “Dark Horse” decision, and taken Led Zeppelin’s side in the long-running copyright dispute that pits the writers of the group’s anthem “Stairway to Heaven” against the publishers of the earlier song “Taurus” by [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content