Holiday Fare Brings Ratings Gifts

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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.