December 15, 2012 9:20am PT by Michael O'Connell
TV Ratings: Newtown Shooting Coverage Drives Friday News Magazines
Viewership at 10 p.m. surged last night, with broadcast network coverage of the shooting in Newtown, Conn., pulling in the night's strongest returns among adults 18-49.
After an even Last Man Standing (1.5 adults), a boosted Malibu Country (1.5 adults, up seven percent) and an encore of Shark Tank (1.2 adults), ABC's 20/20 surged 33 percent over last week for a 1.6 rating in the key demo. The ABC News program preempted previous coverage plans for continued updates from Connecticut, pushing the network to an average 1.5 adults rating and 5.8 million viewers for the night.
CBS also averaged a 1.5 adults rating, pulling a dominant 6.1 million viewers for the night. The network had Christmas specials Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer (1.9 adults), Yes, Virginia (1.6 adults) and Elf on a Shelf (1.5 adults). The network aired a previously unscheduled CBS News update at 10 p.m. to the tune of a 1.2 adults rating.
Michael Buble’s Christmas pulled a 0.9 adults rating in its NBC encore, while Take It All (1.1 adults) was down a tenth of a point from Thursday. Dateline's coverage of the Newtown shooting topped all Friday broadcasts in the demo, pulling a 2.0 rating in the key demo. NBC averaged a 1.3 adults rating and 5.2 million viewers.
Fox (1.1 adults rating, 3.1 million viewers) had new episodes of Kitchen Nightmares (1.1 adults, down a tenth of a point from last week) and Fringe (1.1 adults, up a tenth of a point from last week).
The CW's special Prancer Returns averaged a 0.4 adults rating and 1.5 million viewers.