Ratings: ABC’s ‘Facts of Life’/‘Diff’rent Strokes’ Sheds 1 Million Viewers From Last ‘Live in Front of a Studio Audience’

But ABC still topped Tuesday primetime ratings

LIVE IN FRONT OF A STUDIO AUDIENCE – Emmy® Award-winning “Live in Front of a Studio Audience” makes its highly anticipated return with a third iteration, featuring live reenactments of the hit series “The Facts of Life,” created by Dick Clair and Jenna McMahon, and “Diff’rent Strokes,” created by Bernie Kukoff and Jeff Harris. “Live in Front of a Studio Audience: ‘The Facts of Life’ and ‘Diff’rent Strokes’” premieres TUESDAY, DEC. 7 (8:00-9:30 p.m. EST), on ABC. (ABC/Christopher Willard) KATHRYN HAHN, GABRIELLE UNION, ALLISON TOLMAN

Jimmy Kimmel and Norman Lear’s “Live in Front of a Studio Audience” returned Tuesday with the third iteration of ABC’s sitcom-reenactment special, featuring episodes of “The Facts of Life” and “Diff’rent Strokes.” From 8-9:30 p.m., the special drew an average of 4.6 million viewers. That’s down from the 5.8 million viewers that tuned in for the December 2019 version.

“Live in Front of a Studio Audience” was a pretty huge ratings hit the first time around, topping 10 million total viewers with re-created episodes of “All in the Family” and “The Jeffersons.” The May 2019 event was such a success that ABC decided to run it back in time for the holidays. That one, which featured episodes of “Good Times” and “All in the Family,” came in shy of 6 million viewers, however.

Those first two iterations drew a combined 22.1 million total viewers after 35 days of delayed viewing, and reached 36 million total viewers across all linear and digital platforms, according to ABC.

Also of note last night, ABC premiered new comedy “Abbot Elementary” and NBC aired the 2021 “People’s Choice Awards.”

ABC was first in ratings with a 0.7 rating in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demographic and third in total viewers with an average of 3.2 million, according to preliminary numbers. “Live in Front of a Studio Audience” earned a 0.9 rating in the key demo. At 9:30 p.m., the series premiere of new comedy “Abbot Elementary” drew a 0.6 rating and 2.8 million total viewers. “Queens” at 10 got a 0.3 rating and 1.4 million total viewers.

NBC was second in ratings with a 0.6 and second in viewers with 4.4 million. “The Voice” at 8 landed a 0.7 rating and 6.7 million total viewers. At 9, the “People’s Choice Awards” received a 0.5 rating and 3.2 million total viewers.

CBS was third in ratings with a 0.5 and first in viewers with 5.9 million. “FBI” at 8 posted a 0.6 rating and 6.8 million total viewers. At 9, “FBI: International” put up a 0.5 rating and 5.6 million total viewers. “FBI: Most Wanted” at 10 had a 0.5 rating and 5.3 million total viewers.

Fox was fourth in ratings with a 0.3 and in viewers with 2 million. “The Resident” at 8 had a 0.4 rating and 2.9 million total viewers. At 9, “Our Kind of People” settled for a 0.2 rating and 1.1 million total viewers.

The CW was fifth in ratings with a 0.1 and in viewers with 499,000. “The Flash” at 8 got a 0.2 rating and 731,000 total viewers. At 9, “Riverdale” managed a 0.1 rating and 267,000 total viewers.

We do not yet have early Nielsen numbers for Spanish-language broadcast networks Univision and Telemundo.