NBC and ABC locked horns on Christmas night with adults 18-49, while CBS had the most total viewers.   Four episodes of ‘Til Death on FOX was the only original programming of the night (according to my program guide, The Jay Leno Show was a repeat) and still hardly anyone watched it.  In the press releases you will never see department you can add “‘Til Death Steadily climbs in last hour,” even though it is true.

Update: As “Joss’s Biggest Fan” notes below, indeed two hours of ‘Til Death did outperform two hours of Dollhouse last week in total viewers.  By more than 400,000 in the overnights (2.52 million last night vs. 2.10 million last week).

*Note, looks like there was a bit of overrun with the Cavaliers vs. Lakers NBA game on ABC which would’ve impacted ABC’s numbers below, especially from 8p-8:30p.

Full details:

Time Net Show 18-49 Rating/Share Viewers (Millions)
8:00 ABC Pirates of the Carribean: Dead Man’s Chest (R) 1.6/6 5.10
NBC SNL Presents: A Very Gilly Christmas (R) 1.2/4 4.61
CBS Ghost Whisperer (R) 0.9/3 3.62
FOX Til Death 0.7/2 2.51
CW Smallville (R) 0.4/1 1.06
8:30 NBC SNL Presents: A Very Gilly Christmas (R) 1.5/5 4.75
ABC Pirates of the Carribean: Dead Man’s Chest (R) 1.2/4 3.68
CBS Ghost Whisperer (R) 1.0/3 3.93
FOX Til Death 0.6/2 2.40
CW Smallville (R) 0.4/1 0.937
9:00 NBC SNL Presents: A Very Gilly Christmas (R) 1.4/5 4.61
ABC Pirates of the Carribean: Dead Man’s Chest (R) 1.2/4 3.64
CBS Medium (R) 1.0/3 4.15
FOX Til Death 0.7/2 2.43
CW Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer (R) 0.3/1 0.81
9:30 CBS Medium (R) 1.2/4 4.81
NBC SNL Presents: A Very Gilly Christmas (R) 1.1/4 4.32
ABC Pirates of the Carribean: Dead Man’s Chest (R) 1.1/4 3.25
FOX Til Death 0.8/3 2.74
10:00 ABC Pirates of the Carribean: Dead Man’s Chest (R) 1.3/4 3.49
NBC The Jay Leno Show (R) 1.1/3 3.61
CBS Numb3rs (R) 1.0/3 5.31
10:30 ABC Pirates of the Carribean: Dead Man’s Chest (R) 1.4/5 3.69
CBS Numb3rs (R) 1.0/3 5.20
NBC The Jay Leno Show (R) 1.0/3 3.76


You can see TV ratings from other recent Overnight ratings reports here.

Nielsen TV Ratings: ©2009 The Nielsen Company. All Rights Reserved.

Fast Affiliate Ratings: These first national ratings, including demographics, are available at approximately 11 AM (ET) the day after telecast, and are released to subscribing customers daily. These data, from the National People Meter sample, are strictly time-period information, based on the normal broadcast network feed, and include all programming on the affiliated stations, sometimes including network programming, sometimes not. The figures may include stations that did not air the entire network feed, as well as local news breaks or cutaways for local coverage or other programming. Fast Affiliate ratings are not as useful for live programs and are likely to differ significantly from the final results, because the data reflect normal broadcast feed patterns. For example, with a World Series game, Fast Affiliate Ratings would include whatever aired from 8-11PM on affiliates in the Pacific Time Zone, following the live football game, but not game coverage that begins at 5PM PT. The same would be true of Presidential debates as well as live award shows and breaking news reports.

Rating: Estimated percentage of the universe of TV households (or other specified group) tuned to a program in the average minute. Ratings are expressed as a percent.

Share (of Audience): The percent of households (or persons) using television who are tuned to a specific program, station or network in a specific area at a specific time. (See also, Rating, which represents tuning or viewing as a percent of the entire population being measured.)

Time Shifted Viewing – Program ratings for national sources are produced in three streams of data – Live, Live+Same Day (Live+SD) and Live+7 Day. Time shifted figures account for incremental viewing that takes place with DVRs which are currently in approximately 24.4% of all U.S. TV households. Live+Same Day (Live+SD) include viewing during the same broadcast day as the original telecast, with a cut-off of 3:00AM local time when meters transmit daily viewing to Nielsen for processing. Live+7 Day ratings include incremental viewing that takes place during the 7 days following a telecast.

For more information see Numbers 101 and Numbers 102.

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