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A Gift That Keeps on Giving

While many Americans may consider Thanksgiving to be the de facto start of the annual holiday season, a good deal of network executives disagree. Hallmark Channel aired One Starry Christmas on Nov. 1, and the channel, along with Hallmark Movies and Mysteries, Lifetime, LMN, UP and Nickelodeon, will continue to air a plethora of original made-for-TV films through the big day. Is the frequency of these Christmas-themed network originals overkill? Per a Ratings Intelligence analysis of the numbers, apparently not.

Hallmark Channel’s Christmas Under Wraps is not only the most-watched made-for-TV holiday movie this year to date, but it was the No. 1 show on cable television on Saturday night, Nov. 29. With 5.8 million total viewers, it was cable’s most-watched program among viewers 2-plus and among the persons 18-49 set. A Royal Christmas, which premiered on the previous Saturday on Hallmark Channel, was the second-most-watched made-for-TV holiday film of the year to-date. The Nov. 22 telecast grabbed almost 4.5 million total viewers and a 0.7 rating in the 18-49 demo. A Hallmark Channel original movie has been the most-watched program on cable five consecutive Saturday nights as of Dec. 4.

The graph below shows the highest-rated made-for-TV Christmas-themed movies of the year to-date, focusing on viewers persons 18-49.