4:08pm PT by Michael O'Connell
TV Ratings: A Lot of Adults Watched Monday's 'SpongeBob SquarePants'
Event television for Nickelodeon is generally only a dial-mover for the younger set, but Monday's topical episode of SpongeBob SquarePants pulled some rather strong ratings among grownups as well.
"SpongeBob, You're Fired!" which saw Mr. Krabs lay off his restaurant's most porous and enthusiastic employee to boost profits, averaged a 1.1 rating among adults 18-49 at 7 p.m.
Sure, that only ties it with the Big Four's poorest performer of the night (CBS' Hostages) -- but it's a healthy spike in the older set for the kid-oriented cartoon. Looking across cable, SpongeBob out-rated The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills (0.8 adults), MTV's Teen Mom (0.7 adults) and The Daily Show (0.6 adults) -- though all three aired in different time slots later in the evening.
Among total viewers, SpongeBob fared even better. The 14-year-old franchise brought in its biggest audience in two years with a whopping 5.2 million viewers. Besting Hostages (4.53 million) on broadcast, it managed to outperform every cable offering for the night -- with the notable exception of ESPN's Monday Night Football.
The younger sets also saw big boosts. SpongeBob topped the night in kids demos 2-11, 6-11 and 9-14.
With this kind of pull, nine seasons in, Mr. Krabs may want to reconsider his recent downsizing.