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NBC Takes Week of Christmas in Primetime

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NBC has won the primetime week of December 24-30 among ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX in adults 18-49, total viewers and all other key ratings measures, with gains versus the same week last year of 15 percent in 18-49 rating (to a 2.3 from a 2.0) and 16 percent in total viewers (7.4 million vs. 6.3 million), according to "live plus same day" viewing data from Nielsen Media Research.

For the season to date, NBC ranks #1 with a 24 percent increase over its year-ago 18-49 average (with a 3.1 rating versus last year's 2.5). It's the first time in nine years NBC has ranked #1 at this point in the season.

In total viewers, NBC is up this season versus one year ago by 19 percent (8.8 million vs. 7.4 million). NBC is ahead of its year-ago season average by double-digit percentages in every key ratings category.

"Sunday Night Football" was the #1 primetime show of the week on ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX in every key category - adults, men and women 18-34, 18-49 and 25-54 and total viewers - as well as kids 2-11 and teens 12-17. Also ranking among the top primetime programs of the week on ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX in 18-49 were Friday's "Dateline NBC," tied for #7; Monday's Christmas Eve run of "It's a Wonderful Life," tied for #15; Wednesday's "Law & Order: SVU" encore, #21; Wednesday's "Chicago Fire" rebroadcast, tied for #25; and Tuesday's "Horton Hears a Who," tied for #25.

"Sunday Night Football" was the #1 primetime show of the week in adults 18-49 during all 17 weeks of the NFL season and was #1 in total viewers for 15 of 17 weeks and the last nine in a row.

For the season to date, NBC's schedule features four of primetime's top seven programs on the broadcast nets ("Sunday Night Football," #1; Monday's "The Voice," #4; "Revolution" #5; and Tuesday's "The Voice," tied for #6). NBC's schedule features the #1 show overall ("SNF"), the #1 drama on the broadcast networks and #1 new show ("Revolution"), the #1 new comedy ("Go On") and #1 Friday series ("Grimm") (sports pre- and post-game shows are excluded from these rankings).

Primetime averages for the week of December 24-30 in adults 18-49 are: NBC, 2.3/7; Fox, 1.4/4; CBS, 1.3/4; ABC, 1.1/3; and CW, 0.3/1. In overall total viewers, the weekly averages were: NBC, 7.4 million; CBS, 6.6 million; ABC, 4.0 million; Fox, 3.9 million; and CW, 1.0 million.

Season to date averages through eight weeks are: NBC, 3.1/9; CBS, 2.8/8; Fox, 2.4/7; ABC, 2.4/7; and CW, 0.8/2. In overall total viewers, the season averages are: CBS, 11.4 million; NBC, 8.8 million; ABC, 8.3 million; Fox, 6.7 million; and CW, 1.9 million.

NBC highlights for the week of December 24-30

Monday: An encore telecast of "It's a Wonderful Life" (1.5 rating, 6 share in adults 18-49, 5.6 million viewers) ranked #1 for the night among ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX in adults 18-49, total viewers and all other key ratings categories. It was the #1 theatrical movie on ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX so far this season in total viewers and tied for #1 in adults 18-49 (with CBS's December 15 airing of "Elf"). It's also the biggest overall audience for a telecast of "It's a Wonderful Life" since December 10, 2005. Versus its year-ago telecast, "It's a Wonderful Life" was up 16 percent in total viewers (5.620 million vs. 4.828 million).

Thursday: "Rock Center" (0.9/3 in 18-49, 3.4 million viewers overall) reported its highest adult 25-54 rating (1.2) in three weeks.

Friday: NBC won the night among ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX as an encore telecast of "Dateline NBC" (1.7/5 in 18-49, 6.8 million viewers overall) reported the #1 18-49 and total-viewer results of the night on ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox. "Dateline's" 6.8 million viewer average is the show's biggest overall audience for a Friday telecast since September 23, 2011 (7.2 million). In 18-49, "Dateline" matched its second-highest rating of the season, behind only the December 14 telecast that focused on the Newtown, Conn. school shootings (2.0). The December 28 edition of "Dateline" covered the story of a young Florida mother who was abducted and taken for ransom, only to have three attempts to drop the ransom fail.

Saturday: An encore "Chicago Fire" (0.6/2 in 18-49, 3.2 million viewers overall) ranked #1 among ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX in total viewers at 9 p.m. ET and a rebroadcast "Law & Order: SVU" at 10 (0.8/2 in 18-49, 4.0 million viewers overall) delivered the show's biggest overall audience for a Saturday encore since September 29.

Sunday: This week's Cowboys-Redskins "Sunday Night Football" (10.5/28 in 18-49, 30.3 million viewers overall, 17.0/27 in households) scored the highest total-viewer and household results in the seven-season history of NBC's "Sunday Night Football." The Cowboys-Redskins showdown delivered the top total-viewer result for any regular-season primetime game on any network in 16 years (since ABC's Packers-Cowboys coverage on Monday, Nov. 18, 1996, 31.5 million) and the most-watched NFL primetime regular-season final game in 18 years (since ABC's 49ers-Vikings coverage on Monday, Dec. 26, 1994, 32.0 million). It's the biggest overall audience for a primetime telecast, excluding Olympics, since the Academy Awards averaged 39.3 million viewers on ABC February 26, 2012.

Ratings reflect "live plus same day" data from Nielsen Media Research unless otherwise noted. Season-to-date figures are averages of "live plus seven day" data except for the two most recent weeks, which are "live plus same day."

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