On Christmas Eve and Christmas, people who squeezed in some television amidst all the opening of presents, eating and visiting the folks went with an old holiday standby and — what else? — football.
NBC's airing of It's a Wonderful Life was No. 1 on Saturday night, with Frank Capra's 1946 film starring James Stewart grabbing 4.55 million viewers. First runner-up: ABC's rerunning of 1965's The Sound of Music.
NBC's Sunday Night Football trounced the reruns and holiday fare it was competing with. The football game in which the Green Bay Packers clinched home field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs by decisively beating the Chicago Bears averaged 21.24 million viewers, posting a 6.8 rating among industry-prized 18-to-49-year-olds. It produced the highest overnight rating for a game played on Christmas night since 1995.