Michael Jackson couldn't beat Lady Gaga in the battle of the Thanksgiving specials.
The Spike Lee documentary "Michael Jackson: Bad25" on ABC fell short of last year's "A Very Gaga Thanksgiving," according to preliminary numbers. Meanwhile, NBC took a commanding overall win on the strength of its NFL coverage.
NBC grabbed first place in ratings with a 5.8 rating/18 share in the 18-49 demographic most important to advertisers and was first in total viewers with 15.9 million — far and away, the best network performance of the night. While the nature of live sports renders the network's numbers approximate, the Patriots-Jets game scored a 6.0/20 in the demo. The game was preceded by "Football Night in America," which posted a 3.7/12 in the demo.
Due to NFL overrun that pushed Fox's primetime schedule back ("The X Factor" began at 8:17), the network's preliminary numbers for the night are unreliable. However, as it currently stands, Fox holds second place in ratings and total viewers with a 3.1/10 and 9.4 million. Aside from "The X Factor," the network also ran "Glee."
CBS, which ran repeats throughout the night, took third place in ratings and total viewers with a 1.7/5 and 6.8 million.
ABC came in fourth in ratings and total viewers with a 1.2/4 and 4.2 million. "A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving" at 8 drew a 1.2/4 — down 33 percent from last year's airing — and had 4 million total viewers. Following a "Modern Family" repeat at 9, the special "Michael Jackson: Bad25 at 9:30 drew a 1.2/4 — down 25 percent from last year's ABC Lady Gaga special "A Very Gaga Thanksgiving" — and had 4.5 million total viewers.