'Tis the season for original holiday programming to sprinkle the weekly cable primetime ratings rakings.
Disney’ Channel's holiday special Austin & Jessie & Ally: All Star New Year – which combined the casts from the tween-targeted network’s hit series Austin & Ally and Jessie – drew 4.8 million viewers to finish fifth for the week of Dec. 3 to Dec. 9., according to Nielsen. Directly behind the special was Nickelodeon’s Saturday morning premiere telecast of the It’s a SpongeBob Christmas! special, which averaged 4.7 million viewers.
Also, a pair of Dec. 9 original movies rang up big audience numbers. Hallmark Channel’s Help For The Holidays drew 3.6 million watchers -- the most watched 2013 original movie for the network -- while ABC Family’s Mistle-Tones averaged 3.1 million viewers.
Overall ABC Family finished second among cable networks during the week with an average of 2.9 million viewers, behind football-driven ESPN’s 3.3 million viewers. Hallmark’s 1.9 million viewers placed its sixth behind USA Network (2.5 million viewers), Disney Channel (2.4 million), and A&E (2 million).
TBS (1.8 million viewers), History (1.8 million); TNT (1.7 million) and Fox News (1.7 million) rounded out the top 10.
Top 10 Most Watched Shows For The Week*
12/3 Monday Night Football: Giants-Redskins ESPN 16.2 million
12/6 Thursday Night Football: Broncos-Raiders NFL Network 6.7 million
12/5 Duck Dynasty A&E 6.4 million
12/8 Heisman Trophy ESPN 4.9 million
12/8 Austin & Jessie & Ally Disney 4.8 million
12/8 It’s A SpongeBob Christmas! Nick 4.7 million
12/3 SportsCenter ESPN 4.7 million
12/4 Rizzoli & Isles TNT 4.7 million
12/7 Gold Rush Discovery 4.7 million
12/4 Sons Of Anarchy FX 4.6 million
*Period of Dec. 3 to Dec. 9