One staple of the broadcast networks’ holiday season is having a less-than-jolly time of it in the ratings. Medialife reports that children’s holiday specials, traditionally a sure-fire audience draw at this time of year, are struggling to find viewers.
Seven years ago, the debut of “Shrek the Halls” drew an 11.6 rating with kids 2 to 11 years old. But this year, new specials such as “Elf: Buddy’s Musical Christmas” and returning shows such as the classic “A Charlie Brown Christmas” have seen ratings decline.
The top-rated holiday special this year among children 2-11 is “Rudolph,” which drew a 4.0 rating on CBS. “A Charlie Brown Christmas” was in second place, with 3.4, while “Toy Story That Time Forget” drew a 3.3.
The most recent holiday special, NBC’s “Elf: Buddy’s Musical Christmas,” posted a 1.7 in the demo Monday night.
So what’s going on? Kids are watching less TV, the article notes.
“There’s been a well-documented decline in kids ratings for top cable networks such as Nickelodeon in recent years too, so broadcast is hardly alone,” the story points out. “One big reason is that streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Instant Video target kids with repeats of hugely popular shows such as ‘SpongeBob SquarePants’ and, increasingly, their own originals.”