Holiday Fare Brings Ratings Gifts


Tis the season for Nielsens, provided that the network is airing holiday fare.

Hallmark Channel, aided by its original telepic, Single Santa Seeks Mrs. Claus, notched its best-ever primetime and total-day performances last week.

Hallmark averaged a 1.4 primetime mark the week of Dec. 6-12, good for 14th place overall, according to a Disney Cable Networks Group analysis of Nielsen Media Research data.

Gauged on a total-programming-day basis, Hallmark scored a 0.8 average to finish in a tie for 10th with another holiday-programming proponent, ABC Family, which is currently engaged in its “25 Days of Christmas” stunt.

Single Santa averaged a 3.0 household rating and almost 3.85 million viewers Dec. 11, boosting Hallmark to a 1.1 average for the day, its second-best performance of all-time in that measure.

Single Santa joined three other original holiday-themed telepics in pulling in 2.5 household ratings this season: Love’s Enduring Promise registered a 2.5 Nov. 20; A Boyfriend for Christmas earned a 2.7 Nov. 27; and Unlikely Angel recorded a 2.7 Dec. 4.

The network’s final original movie this holiday season, Angel in the Family, will premiere Dec. 18 from 9 p.m-11 p.m.

ABC Family has received even stronger viewing presents. After 14 days of its 25 Days of Christmas foray (Dec. 1-14), the network has averaged a 1.8 household rating from 7 p.m.-10 p.m. each night, a 38% gain over the 1.3 mark for the corresponding period in 2003, according to the network. Total viewership has jumped 42% to 2.47 million from 1.74 million over the same clip

Among key demos, ABC Family has also made strides: It’s up 33% among the 18-34 set (0.8 vs. 0.6) and 43% among adults 18-49 (1.0, compared with a 0.7).

Within the aforementioned time slot and span, network officials said the stunt has pushed the service into basic cable’s top 10 among households (third), viewers (eighth) and adults 18-49 (fourth).

For the week of Dec. 6-12, ABC Family finished tied for eighth with a 1.5 average in primetime and with a piece of 10th (0.8) in total programming day.

Looking ahead, the network will repurpose ABC’s recent telepic, The Five People YouMeet in Heaven, Dec. 16 at 7 p.m., and it will run a “Holiday Classics Marathon” featuring Rankin/Bass favorites Twas the Night Before Christmas, Rudolph’s Shiny New Year, The Year Without a Santa Claus and Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town from 2 p.m.-6 p.m. Dec. 19. The latter was also on the list Dec. 15.