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Big ‘Christmas’ Present for TBS

Dec 28, 2007  •  Post A Comment

The 11th annual “A Christmas Story” marathon brought TBS its best ratings ever.
For the marathon’s entire 24 hours, from Dec. 24 at 8 p.m. to Dec. 25 at 8 p.m., TBS was the top ad-supported cable network among total viewers, adults 18 to 34 and adults 25 to 54.
The prime-time showing of the film at 8 p.m., based on stories by Jean Shepherd, drew 4.4 million viewers.
After doing mediocre business at the box office, the 1983 film was rescued by Ted Turner from the MGM vaults and has become a holiday staple, along with “Miracle on 34th Street” and “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

15 Comments

  1. Well, You and YOUR FRIENDS obviously love this movie………….
    We Love You two!
    Mom & Dad

  2. This, Rudolph winning its time slot a few weeks back and the continued popularity of A Charlie Brown Christmas are entirely heartwarming ratings results.
    For my family, having the TV locked onto the A Christmas Story marathon has become a Christmas tradition, from sign on to sign off. Final wrapping of presents, placing them under the tree, opening presents on Christmas morning and Christmas dinner all occur each year with Ralphie and friends in the background. Even though we own the movie on DVD and Blu-Ray, the marathon is a Christmas event all its own, and each year when it ends we are saddened as it means the Christmas season is over.
    (Alas, our fondest memories go back to the early years when the end credits were not stomped upon, such that the full end credits ran at their normal speed over “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” and were immediately followed by the MGM roar signifiying the beginning of the next showing.)
    One note: the marathon has not been on TBS for all eleven years; for many years it was on TBS’ sister network, TNT.

  3. Now if only I got TBS again. I am not too excited about Peachtree TV…

  4. Thanks to Bill above for remembering, correctly, that it was TNT who started the “A Christmas Story” marathons and ran them many years until the stunt was taken over by TBS. As one of the programming team who started this tradition, over some objections, believe me, in the beginning, I hate to see TBS get the credit for originating the concept. It was TNT’s repeated airings which pushed this charming movie into the public’s heart, at about the same time that previous holiday perennial “It’s a Wonderful Life” became almost invisible because of the public domain status resolution which took it away from the countless stations and networks who had been running it. “…Life” is sadly mostly back on the shelf except for the once a year broadcast network airings — perfect invisibility! — and not in the forefront of holiday movies anymore. I’m sure some lawyer’s still chuckling over that dubious victory which did nobody any good.

  5. LM, many, many thanks for helping to start the tradition. I was very surprised a few years back when I saw TNT decided to run, I believe it was basketball, and the marathon had moved over to TBS. I recall at least one newspaper had even printed a story stating “TNT’s annual A Christmas Story marathon continues again this year…”
    What a way to destroy brand loyalty.
    I also recall I believe it was the last year on TNT when you could sync up the movie with the TNT web site and it would give you DVD-like trivia facts about the making of the film that corresponded to the scenes being shown on-screen. I also remember there were also interviews with Bob Clark and Peter Billingsley on the making of the film – at a time when most people didn’t know “whatever happened to Ralphie.”
    As far as Life goes, I suspect that “taking it private” did help home video sales if nothing else.

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