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.