NFL, Golden Oldies Make Ratings Mark; Nielsen Week In Review
Chicago Bears cornerback Prince Amukamara (20) intercepts a pass intended for Los Angeles Rams receiver Robert Woods (17) during the second half of an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Rams Sunday, Dec. 9, 2018, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
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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 primetime 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 primetime, 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.

NFL football again topped the week's ratings, with the L.A. Rams/Chicago Bears game on NBC drawing 19.39 million viewers on Sunday night.

Below are primetime viewership numbers compiled by Nielsen for Dec. 3-9. Listings include the week's ranking and viewership.

1. NFL Football: L.A. Rams at Chicago, NBC, 19.39 million.
2. "NFL Sunday Post-Game," Fox, 19.23 million.
3. "NFL Pre-Game," NBC, 13.63 million.
4. "The Big Bang Theory," CBS, 12.53 million.
5. "NCIS," CBS, 12.05 million.
6. NFL Football: Washington at Philadelphia, ESPN, 11.38 million.
7. "Young Sheldon," CBS, 10.91 million.
8. NFL Football: Jacksonville at Tennessee, Fox, 10.79 million.
9. "FBI," CBS, 9.72 million.
10. "The Voice" (Monday), NBC, 9 million.
11. "The Voice" (Tuesday), NBC, 8.92 million.
12. "Blue Bloods," CBS, 8.895 million.
13. "60 Minutes," CBS, 8.889 million.
14. "Football Night in America," NBC, 8.64 million.
15. "NCIS: New Orleans," CBS, 8.33 million.
16. "Chicago Med," NBC, 7.944 million.
17. "Chicago Fire," NBC, 7.943 million.
18. "Mom," CBS, 7.93 million.
19. "Hawaii Five-0," CBS, 7.81 million.
20. "The Simpsons," Fox, 7.53 million.

ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Co.; CBS is a division of CBS Corp.; Fox is owned by 21st Century Fox; NBC is owned by NBC Universal.


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