A 49-year-old animated movie went against some of the most expensive shows on television last night and won. CBS’ rebroadcast of Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer (3.0, up 3% from last year) was the highest-rated program last night in adults 18-49, the demo category it itself is leading this year, topping NBC’s The Voice and ABC’s Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Rudolph drew 11.4 million viewers, up 13% and the second-largest audience last night behind ABC’s Dancing With The Stars finale (14.6 million, 2.4 in 18-49), helping CBS win Tuesday in 18-49 and total viewers. ...
I guess it shouldn't be. Peanuts specials, already aired a bajillion times, continue to get ratings. And animated features sell and sell and sell, even decades after production. I recall Jeffrey Katzenberg complaining, twenty-odd years ago, that a re-release of 101 Dalmations was among Disney's biggest box office successes, beating the newer, live-action releases.
So why wouldn't a stop-motion tale about a red-nosed reindeer trounce the competition on television?