Little ‘Star Wars’ Effect On TV Ratings As ‘MasterChef Jr’ Steady & ‘Dateline’ Rises

Disney-owned ABC and almost everyone else decided to get out of the way of the opening of Star Wars: The Force Awakens last night with a primetime of encores and holiday specials. Actually, with NBC winning the night with a 1.0/4 rating and 4.9 million watching, the effect of the big big movie opening may have been quite minimal. Compared to the repeat and special heavy December 20 of 2014, which the Comcast net topped with a 1.2/4, things were pretty steady – so less Star Wars and more the draw of the week before Christmas was in play on Friday.

Having said that, looking back at last year’s special of December 20, this year’s holiday themed Caught On Camera With Nick Cannon (0.7/3) on NBC dropped 22% among adults 18-49. Apples to oranges, Caught On Camera was up an almost unfathomable 133% in the demo from its Saturday December 12 showing.

The network followed up Nick Cannon and filled out its schedule with a new Dateline (1.1/5) from 9 – 11 PM. Tied with Fox’s MasterChef Junior (1.1/4) for the top rated show of Friday’s primetime, the news mag was actually up 22% from last week’s 1-hour show in the key demo – the ratings Force was good with that one (couldn’t resist).

Fox was the only other net with a full offering of originals with the Gordon Ramsay-led cook-up dipping 8% from the much more competitive night of December 8. The Season 2 finale of World’s Funniest (0.6/2) was down 14% from last week but up 20% from its Season 1 ender of June 23, a Tuesday.

See you at the mall today, Hollywood.

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