Santa, Frosty, Robbie the Reindeer, Charlie Brown and the Grinch all converged on the networks to vie for ratings during a week packed with holiday TV specials. When the dust settled, it was Rudolph and his famous red nose that shone brightest. The beloved Rankin and Bass stop motion classic had 12.3 million viewers glued to CBS on Friday night.
Following Rudolph‘s lead-in, Robbie the Reindeer pulled his own weight on CBS Friday with 9.81 million viewers. Nabbing 8.57 million viewers for CBS on Saturday, Frosty Returns scored the third highest rating among holiday fare, followed by Frosty the Snowman (CBS/Sat.) with 8.19 million, A Charlie Brown Christmas (ABC/Fri.) with 7.89 million, How the Grinch Stole Christmas (WB/Fri.) with 6.08 million and Scooby-Doo Christmas (WB/Fri.) with 5.32 million, according to www.tvtracker.com.
A Charlie Brown Christmas did much better in the week prior, when it attracted 11.48 million viewers. Peanuts creator Charles Schulz came second only to Elvis on this year’s list of deceased celebrities who made the most money. His estate reportedly pulls in an estimated $28 million a year.