Ratings: Holiday Specials Decline, Grammy Preview Does Fine

Audiences aren’t feeling that jingle jangle just yet, with specials on NBC and CBS both suffering big drops.

Last Updated: December 3, 2009 @ 10:56 AM

Bah, humbug! Viewers don’t seem to be in much of a holiday mood just yet.

NBC’s "Christmas in Rockefeller Center" and CBS’s "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" both suffered year-to-year double digit declines in the ratings, according to Nielsen data. The Eye’s second annual Grammy nominations special, meanwhile, pretty much held steady.

On the holiday front, the NBC union that threatened a strike may have backed down, but they might take some delight in the fact that this year’s telecast of the Rockefeller Center tree lighting fell to a 1.8/5 adults 18-49 rating and 8.8 million viewers– down 18 percent in the demo vs. last year (2.2/6, 10.3 million).

In the same 8 p.m. timeslot, CBS once again dominated with "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer." But its 3.8/11 and 10.74 million viewers was off 10 percent in the demo from last year (and down one million viewers, when the special averaged a 4.2/12 and 11.74 million).

At 9 p.m., meanwhile, CBS’s second annual Grammy nominations special was down just a tick from 2008. It averaged a 2.3/6 and 6.47 million viewers this year vs. a 2.4 and 7.15 million last year.

It probably didn’t help that the Grammy special this year squared off against Fox’s musical comedy "Glee," which no doubt siphoned off a few younger viewers.

"Glee," opposite repeats on ABC and NBC, soared to it most-watched episode of the season and its best ever adults 18-34 rating (higher even that the post-"American Idol" preview last May).

The show won the 9 p.m. hour in demos with a 3.6/9 and an overall audience of 8.2 million viewers.