Ratings: NBC’s Expanded Christmas-Tree Lighting Loses Power, Drops 24 Percent

Two-hour version dips 7 percent in viewers from 2017’s 60-minute ceremony

Christmas in Rockefeller Center - Season 2018
Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC

Perhaps Christmas should only last an hour. NBC’s annual “Christmas in Rockefeller Center” tree lighting dropped 24 percent in ratings from 2017. This year’s special was two hours while last year’s was 60 minutes.

Paired with John Legend’s holiday special, NBC was able to finish first in Wednesday’s primetime total-viewer averages, but Fox and CBS ranked above the peacock network — in that order — among adults 18-49.

Fox was first in ratings with a 1.3 rating/6 share in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demographic, but third in total viewers with an average of 4.4 million, according to preliminary numbers. “Empire” at 8 p.m. earned a 1.5/7 and 5 million viewers. At 9, “Star” got a 1.1/5 and 3.7 million viewers.

CBS was second in ratings with a 1.2/5 and in viewers with 6.1 million. “Survivor” from 8-10 scored a 1.5/7 and 7.6 million viewers. A rerun followed.

NBC was third in ratings with a 1.1/5 and first in viewers with 7 million. The tree lighting from 8-10 averaged a 1.3/6 and 8.4 million viewers. “A Legendary Christmas With John and Chrissy” at 10 had a 0.8/3 and 4.4 million viewers.

ABC was fourth in ratings with a 1.0/4 and in viewers with 4.1 million. “The Goldbergs” at 8 got a 1.2/5 and 5 million viewers. At 8:30, “American Housewife” had a 1.0/4 and 4.4 million viewers. “Modern Family” at 9 landed a 1.3/5 and 4.8 million viewers. At 9:30, “Single Parents” received a 0.9/4 and 3.4 million viewers. “A Million Little Things” at 10 finished primetime with a 0.8/4 and 3.5 million viewers.

Univision was fifth in ratings with a 0.5/2 and in viewers with 1.5 million.

Telemundo and The CW tied for sixth in ratings, both with a 0.4/2. Telemundo was sixth in total viewers with 1.2 million, CW was seventh with 1 million.

For CW, “Riverdale” at 8 had a 0.5/2 and 1.3 million viewers. At 9, “All American” at 9 got a 0.3/1 and 767,000 viewers.