ABC’s “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve With Ryan Seacrest” maintained its title as the highest-rated and most-watched New Year’s Eve celebration telecast, hitting a four-year high in ratings and viewers for the show as the world said goodbye to 2021 last Friday.
Though new offerings from NBC (“Miley’s New Year’s Eve Party, Hosted by Miley Cyrus and Pete Davidson”) and CBS (“New Year’s Eve Live: Nashville’s Big Bash”) were no match for the King of NYE content, they showed promising Nielsen results for the two freshman events going up against the 50-year-old “Rockin’ Eve” stalwart.
From 11:30 p.m. to 12:31 a.m. on Dec. 31 — the post-primetime hour during which these specials and their viewers actually rang in 2022 — ABC’s Times Square-set countdown averaged 19.6 million total viewers and a 5.8 rating among adults in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 age group. With the 18-34 audience, the rating was a 4.6.
In the midnight quarter-hour alone, “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” scored 24.2 million total viewers and a 7.3 key demo rating.
The second half of the “late-night” segments of the ABC special (1:09-2:06 a.m.) garnered 5.6 million viewers, a 1.7 rating among the 18-49 set, and a 1.5 in the 18-34 group.
NBC’s inaugural “Miley’s New Year’s Eve Party, Hosted by Miley Cyrus and Pete Davidson” came in a distant second, drawing 6.3 million viewers from 11:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m. Throughout the Miami bash’s entire runtime, which kicked off at 10:30, it landed 5.8 million viewers, a 1.9 key demo rating and a 1.5 in adults 18-34. Cyrus’ event trended the most among NYE specials on Twitter.
Over on CBS, the broadcast network’s latest attempt at a New Year’s Eve special, “New Year’s Eve Live: Nashville’s Big Bash,” placed third during the ball-drop time span of 11:30 p.m.-12:29 a.m., with 5.2 million viewers, a 1.1 key demo rating and a 0.7 among adults 18-34.
It should be noted that unlike “Miley’s New Year’s Eve Party,” CBS’ “Big Bash” ran throughout both primetime and the “late-night” time slot, putting up an average of 4.8 million viewers from 8-11 p.m. That is not shabby in comparison to the 6.8 million brought in by ABC’s primetime portion of “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve,” and easily bests the 3.3 million combined viewers that NBC’s “2021: It’s Toast!” special and the first half hour of Cyrus and Davidson got during that same block.
Falling behind the broadcast specials, over on cable, CNN’s “New Year’s Eve Live With Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen” averaged 2.1 million total viewers from 8 p.m.-12:29 a.m and drew a 0.4 key demo rating and a 0.3 with the younger crowd. During the pre-and-post midnight hour of 11:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m., Cooper and Cohen averaged 3.7 million viewers. Just looking at primetime, CNN only brought in 1.5 million viewers.
Fox canceled its planned “New Year’s Eve Toast & Roast 2022” show from Times Square just over a week before the event, saying that “the recent velocity of the spread of omicron cases has made it impossible to produce a live special in Times Square that meets our standards.”
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