NBC’s coverage of the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on Thursday morning drew a 5.3 rating in the adults 18-49 demographic and 20.7 million viewers, respectable numbers for a mostly pre-taped and pared-down event due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The parade’s 9 a.m.-noon ET telecast (it was broadcast at that time across all U.S. time zones) was down two tenths from 2019’s restriction-free event, which finished with 22.1 million viewers. Overall, the year-over-year drops were 3% in the demo and 6% in viewers, and yesterday’s initial airing marked NBC’s highest-rated and most-watched entertainment telecast of 2020 during a TV season when most big events saw much bigger dips in their numbers.
Combined with an encore later in the afternoon, the parade finished with a 6.2 in the demo and 24.2 million viewers in Nielsen Live+Same Day data. It also had 4.7 million streams on YouTube.
Following the parade was NBC’s annual afternoon coverage of the The National Dog Show (2.8, 11.3M). The two-hour dog-fest encored in primetime (0.6, 2.94M) to fill the gap created when the network’s annual Thanksgiving primetime NFL game (Pittsburgh vs. Baltimore) was moved to Sunday because of positive Covid tests on the Ravens team.
The NFL exit paved the way for Fox’s competition lineup of The Masked Singer (3.0, 10.17M) and I Can See Your Voice (1.6, 5.53M) to easily sweep the evening for the network in both the demo and viewers.
The other fresh programming in Thanksgiving primetime was ABC’s two-hour special Wonderful World of Disney: Magical Holiday Celebration (0.4, 2.46M), CBS’ Star Trek: Discovery (0.2, 1.51M) and the CW’s Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life mini (0.1, 350,000).
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