ABC Family Receives Ratings Gift From Holiday Fare

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ABC Family’s "25 Days of Christmas" programming event is the off the second best start in its 11-year history.

On Dec. 1 and Dec. 2, ABC Family averaged 3 million viewers in primetime with its annual holiday event, including 1.4 million adults 18 to 49 and 1 million 12-to-34 watchers, according to Nielsen Media Research data. Those performances trail only the first two nights of "25 Days" record-settng performance in 2007, said network officials.

On Monday Dec. 1, ABC Family began the stunt in strong fashion with theatrical Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas delivering 3.9 million total viewers, 1.8 million adults 18 to 49 and 1.1 million women 18 to 49, making it the day's top scripted program on all cable.

The following night, the first of back-to-back airings of The Polar Express (6 p.m.-8:30 p.m.) swept cable's No. 1 position in its time period in ABC Family's core demos: adults 18 to 49 (1.2 million), women 18 to 49 (786,000) and viewers 12 to 34 (834,000). All told, the movie ranked second in cable with 2.6 million total viewers on average, according to ABC Family officials.

Compared to the last time 25 Days launched on a Monday in 2003, ABC Family more than doubled delivery its delivery of adults 18 to 49 (up 102% to 1.4 million from 692,000) and viewers 12 to 34 (121% to 1 million from 453,000).

Last year, ABC began the holiday marathon on Saturday night.