NEW YORK (AP) — Some of last week's most popular television programs are much older than most of the people who watched them.
ABC's showing of "A Charlie Brown Christmas" was the most-watched of a handful of holiday specials that aired in prime-time last week, reaching 5.3 million viewers, the Nielsen company said. It's a tradition in many households that was first on television in December 1965.
Two other old favorites, "Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer" and "Frosty the Snowman," were both seen by more than 4 million people on CBS Saturday night. "Rudolph" dates to 1964, while "Frosty" made his debut in 1969.
Another venerable cartoon, Fox's "The Simpsons," impressively hit Nielsen's top 20 last week with 7.5 million viewers. It has been a regular fixture on Fox's schedule since 1989, with its origins in some animated shorts that ran two years earlier than that.
Dick Wolf, who prides himself on his consistency as a television producer, might appreciate the statistical oddity involving two of his NBC dramas last week. Nielsen estimated that "Chicago Med," which aired Wednesday at 8 p.m., reached 7.944 million viewers while "Chicago Fire," which directly followed it, was seen by 7.943 million.
CBS won the week in prime-time, averaging 6.9 million viewers, edging NBC's 6.8 million. Fox averaged 5.9 million and won among the 18-to-49-year-old demographic it seeks. ABC had 3.6 million, Univision had 1.4 million, ION Television had 1.2 million, the CW had 1.1 million and Telemundo had 1.09 million.
ESPN was the week's most popular cable network, averaging 2.49 million viewers in prime time. Fox News Channel had 2.11 million, Hallmark had 2.02 million, MSNBC had 2 million and USA had 1.25 million.
ABC's "World News Tonight" topped the evening newscasts with an average of 8.9 million viewers. NBC's "Nightly News" was second with 8.6 million and the "CBS Evening News" had 6.3 million.
For the week of Dec. 3-9, the top 10 shows, their networks and viewerships: NFL Football: L.A. Rams at Chicago, NBC, 19.39 million; "NFL Sunday Post-Game," Fox, 19.23 million; "NFL Pre-Game," NBC, 13.63 million; "The Big Bang Theory," CBS, 12.53 million; "NCIS," CBS, 12.05 million; NFL Football: Washington at Philadelphia, ESPN, 11.38 million; "Young Sheldon," CBS, 10.91 million; NFL Football: Jacksonville at Tennessee, Fox, 10.79 million; "FBI," CBS, 9.72 million; "The Voice" (Monday), NBC, 9 million.
ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Co. CBS is owned by CBS Corp. CW is a joint venture of Warner Bros. Entertainment and CBS Corp. Fox is owned by 21st Century Fox. NBC and Telemundo are owned by Comcast Corp. ION Television is owned by ION Media Networks.