Back after last Wednesday’s quiet pre-Thanksgiving telecasts and November sweep end, TV was back in almost full force last night. NBC ditched its regular schedule to go full holiday with Christmas In Rockefeller Center (2.3/7) and a Saturday Night Live (2.6/7) SNL Christmas special. Now in its 16th year, the music heavy lighting of the tree in Manhattan had performances by Mariah Carey, Mary J. Blige and Kelly Clarkson among others, last night. It also had a 10% boost over last year’s November 28 show to hit its highest rating since 2006’s 2.6. taking into account that the network’s primetime was preempted in Portland due to an NBA game, the combo of music and comedy scored another Wednesday win for NBC with a 2.5/7 rating. CBS was second with 1.9/6 but No. 1 in total viewers with 8.902 million watching compared to NBC’s 8.225 million.
CBS was all encores except for an original Survivor (2.6/8). The reality competition was up 18% from last week and also, with a 20% rise over its November 27th show, hit a season viewership high with 10.59 million watching. Survivor was the most watched show of the night with the Criminal Minds (1.7/5) and CSI (1.4/4) repeats getting 8.12 million and 8 million respectively.
With the quick debut of the costumeless Flash on Arrow (1.1/3) last night, the CW superhero series was up 10% over its last original on November 20. The DC Comics-based show also had its most watched episode since February 3 with 3.17 million tuning in – a 17% rise from the telecast of two weeks ago. Its lead-out The Tomorrow People (0.7/2) also was up – 17% from its last original.
Though Modern Family (3.1/9) was the top-rated show of the night, ABC’s comedies didn’t see the rises that The CW did. The Middle (1.9/6) was down 17% from its last new show on November 20 to hit a season low. Newbies Back In The Game (1.4/4) and Super Fun Night (1.7/5) were down 13% and 6% each to a low and a tied low respectively. Modern Family was also down, slipping 9% from its last original two weeks back to hit a season low. The network ended the night with Nashville (1.6/5), which was flat with its November 20 show.
It was performance night on The X-Factor (1.4/4) for the last 6 contestants. With two eliminations scheduled for tonight, Wednesday’s two-hour show on Fox saw the potential winners do two songs each, one diva-style and one acoustic. Some even got standing ovations from Simon Cowell and the other judges and tears from Demi Lovato. The X-Factor even got some love from viewers with a 17% boost from last week’s matched low among adults 18-49 and an 8% bop upward in viewership to 5.3 million.
Deadline's Dominic Patten - tip him here.