TV Ratings: Vintage 'Rudolph' Beats Everything But 'This Is Us'

'Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer'

Made with charming stop-motion, the TV special was originally broadcast on NBC in 1964 but moved to CBS in the early 1970s. It centers on Rudolph, an adorable reindeer born with a glowing red nose that makes him ineligible to pull Santa’s sleigh. But, as the story goes, all of that changes on one foggy Christmas Eve. The rest is history. 

The plot hasn't changed in 52 years, but that didn't keep Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer from topping nearly everything else on Tuesday night.

CBS' annual telecast of the hourlong animated special averaged a 2.3 rating among adults 18-49. In the key demo, that put it ahead of all but NBC's This Is Us. The ensemble drama, still the darling of the new season and quickly becoming one of the most formidable series on broadcast, was up to a 2.7 rating in the key demo.

NBC won the night with This Is Us, a steady episode of The Voice (1.9 adults) and a lifted Chicago Fire (1.7 adults). (The rest of CBS' lineup was repeats.)

ABC's The Middle (1.6 adults), American Housewife (1.4 adults), Fresh Off the Boat (1.2 adults) and The Real O'Neals (1.0 adults) were all steady with their recent episodes — as was Agents of SHIELD (1.2 adults).

Steady also was the watchword on Fox. Brooklyn Nine-Nine led with a 1.0 rating among adults 18-49, followed by New Girl (0.8 adults) and Scream Queens (0.5 adults).

More great news for The CW: The Flash, continuing this week's crossover fest, hit a two-year high with a 1.5 rating among adults 18-49. It also climbed nearly 40 percent to 4.1 million viewers. No Tomorrow also was improved — but only to a 0.4 rating in the key demo.