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December 29, 2008

Holiday ratings rundown: 'Momma's,' 'Hills,' more

Grinch -- NBC's “Sunday Night Football" (11.9 million viewers, 4.4 preliminary adults 18-49 rating and a 12 share), Broncos vs. Chargers, was down a bit from last week's Panthers vs. Giants game. Overall, the NFL showcase is up this season heading into last night by 2% in the demo (averaging 6.2) and 6% in total viewers (averaging 16.4 million).

-- CBS brought back game show "Million Dollar Password" (9.3 million, 2.0/6) on the past two Sunday nights, with both episodes performing fair against NBC’s football. 

-- Here's what doesn't perform well during the December holidays: last summer's Olympics. Viewers were clamoring for an encore presentation of the mega-rated Olympics opening ceremony last August. On Saturday, the network finally re-aired the event, now grandly titled “The Beijing Opening Ceremony: The TV Event of the Year” (5.9 million, 0.6/2). The special ranked last in its time period in the demo.

-- CBS' rising tide this season helped Craig Ferguson edge out NBC's Conan O'Brien in total viewers (2.1 million vs. 2 million) last week for his best numbers in more than a year, narrowing the gap for the season between the late-night hosts. Ferguson is up 11% in viewers overall this season, while Jay Leno and O'Brien continue to dominate in the adult demo by significant margins.

-- NBC came in a close second place on Christmas night behind CBS with a two-hour “Deal or No Deal” special (6.5 million, 1.6/6) standing as the evening’s only original programming.

-- In the umpteenth reminder of how well the classics rank during the holiday season, NBC won the night before Christmas with its 26th primetime airing of "It's a Wonderful Life" (5.3 million, 1.6/6). Same with last Tuesday's airing of "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" on ABC (6.5 million, 2.3/8), which won its hour.

-- In its new time period last week, the second episode of NBC's reality show “Momma's Boys” (5 million, 1.7/5) Monday night fell 32% from its premiere to place last among the major networks. There’s a few mitigating factors rolling around here -- the shift from Tuesday to Monday, the holiday week and the expected post-premiere drop of most new reality shows -- but its hard to be happy with last place. 

--  On MTV, "The Hills" Season 4 finale was down sharply from previous closer. Last season concluded in May instead of during the holidays so one would expect the finale to be down. Yet the entire season was off 25% from the previous round. Tonight MTV premieres its "Hills" spinoff starring Whitney Port. On Animal Planet, the first season of "Whale Wars" concluded as the network's most-watched series ever.  


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