Fast National ratings for Wednesday, Dec. 31, 2008.

Carried by Ryan Seacrest and Dick Clark's "New Year's Rockin' Eve," ABC scored a ratings victory for the final evening of 2008.

ABC had a commanding victory in the key 18-49 demographic, doing a 2.3 rating. CBS was a distant second with a 1.3 rating, followed by CBS and NBC's 1.1 rating and the 0.4 rating for The CW.

Overall, ABC and CBS both averaged the same 3.7/7 rating, but because of unique characteristics of New Year's Eve audiences (many viewers watching in large groups), ABC's average of 7 million viewers was nearly 1.2 million more than CBS'. FOX was third with a 2.7/5, with NBC's 2.5/5 and The CW's 0.8/2 trailing.

ABC's broadcast of "Shrek 2" started off in first with a 3.2/6 in the 8 p.m. hour. FOX's "Bones" had a 2.8/5, nipping the totals for NBC's "Knight Rider" and CBS' "The New Adventures of Old Christine" and "Gary Unmarried." The CW trailed with a 0.9/2 for "How to Deal."

CBS moved into first at 9 p.m. with the 4.1/8 for "Criminal Minds." ABC's movie had a 3.5/7 for second, but still won the hour in the 18-49 demographic. FOX's "Bones" and NBC's "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" tied with a 2.6/5. The CW's movie was last.

At 10 p.m., ABC's "New Year's Rockin' Eve" and CBS' "CSI: NY" both averaged a 4.3/9, but thanks to group viewing, ABC averaged nearly 1.7 million more viewers for the hour and doubled up the competition in the 18-49 demo. Viewers were substantially less interested in Carson Daly's New Year's revelries on NBC.

All ratings information comes from preliminary Fast National data, which includes live and same-day DVR viewing. All numbers are subject to change.


A long-time member of the TCA Board and a longer-time blogger of "American Idol," Dan Fienberg writes about TV, except for when he writes about movies or sometimes writes about the Red Sox. But never music. He would sound stupid talking about music.