Fox scoops up a win with Sugar Bowl

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UPDATED 4:17 p.m. PT Jan. 2, 2007

The Sugar Bowl proved sweet for Fox, which started the new year with a win Tuesday in viewership and the adults 18-49 demographic.

Final results were not released by Nielsen Media Research until late after press time Wednesday, but the Hawaii-Georgia matchup averaged at least 12.5 million viewers and a 4.9 rating/11 share in adults 18-49.

Also notable was NBC's "The Biggest Loser" (10.4 million, 4.3/10), which debuted to the biggest ratings for any of the premieres and its best adults 18-49 ratings since Jan. 4, 2005. It was up 39% compared with last cycle's season premiere as well as jumping 67% within its two-hour telecast.

In cable ratings news, TBS' "Funniest Commercials of the Year: 2007" averaged 5.1 million total viewers at 9 p.m. Dec. 26, marking a 4% improvement over last year's special.

The Kevin Nealon-hosted special drew 1.3 million viewers in the adults 18-34 demo (up 16% from 2006), making it the most-watched primetime program in all of television in the demo Dec. 26. "Commercials" also pulled in 2.8 million viewers in adults 18-49 (up 7% from 2006) and 2.9 million in adults 25-54 (up 6%).

Meanwhile, ABC Family's 10th annual "25 Days of Christmas" programming stunt finished as the event's most-watched ever in total viewers (2.6 million, up 3% from 2006), 18-34 (518,000, up 16%) and 18-49 (1.16 million, up 9%). Compared with other basic cable networks in the time period (7-10 weeknights), ABC Family placed No. 2 in total viewers behind sister network Disney Channel (2.7 million) and ranked No. 1 in women 18-34 (351,000) and women 18-49 (740,000).

This year's "25 Days of Christmas" was boosted by the original movie "Holiday in Handcuffs," which became ABC Family's most-watched telecast ever with its Dec. 9 premiere in total viewers (7 million), adults 18-34 (1.6 million) and adults 18-49 (3.3 million).

Paul J. Gough reported from New York; Kimberly Nordyke reported from Los Angeles.
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