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CNN’s New Year’s Eve ratings soared over the previous year, with the news channel nearly doubling its audience compared to the final night of 2019. Usual ratings leader ABC also improved year to year, though specials on NBC and Fox were down some.
The various year-end telecasts took place without the backdrop of huge crowds in New York’s Times Square, which canceled its annual event due to the pandemic. TV audiences, however, continued to tune into what is usually one of the bigger viewing nights of any year.
CNN’s 4 1/2-hour New Year’s Eve Live special, hosted by Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen, averaged 3.36 million viewers, a 95 percent jump from the 1.73 million who watched on Dec. 31, 2019. It also more than doubled among adults 18-49 (0.4 to 0.81) and grew by 85 percent (0.54 to 1.0) in the key news demographic of adults 25-54.
On ABC, the late-night portion of New Year’s Rockin’ Eve With Ryan Seacrest drew 18.4 million viewers (up 5 percent from a year earlier) and a 5.6 rating in the 18-49 demo (a 10 percent bump). The quarter hour at midnight ET delivered 22.12 million viewers, also up from last year.
The network’s primetime New Year’s Rockin’ Eve averaged 9.31 million viewers and a 2.7 in adults 18-49, vs. 8.5 million and 2.4 a year ago.
NBC’s New Year’s Eve 2021 averaged 7.36 million viewers in late night, off by about 6 percent year to year. Fox’s losses were heavier, with the late night portion of New Year’s Eve Toast & Roast drawing just under 4 million viewers, a 29 percent drop.
NBC (4.66 million viewers) was even with Dec. 31, 2019 in primetime, while Fox (2.19 million) came down by about 600,000 viewers.
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