Updated post: “Winter Classic” slides in ratings

Despite Blackhawks loss, Winter Classic draws viewers in Chicago, St. Louis – but Chicago numbers down significantly from 2015’s game

Celebrity Apprentice return disappoints

And other ratings news of note

(Editor’s Note: Contains spoilers for Monday’s edition of “The Wall”. This post has been updated from earlier today – T.H..)

Though the Chicago Blackhawks didn’t win, the ninth NHL Winter Classic was a winner, at least in the overnight ratings.

According to Awful Announcing, the outdoor matchup between the Blackhawks and the St. Louis Blues at Cardinals Stadium drew a 1.9 rounded overnight household rating for NBC, up 4 percent from last year’s Winter Classic, which pitted the Montreal Canadiens and the Boston Bruins at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass.

However, final ratings show the Winter Classic sliding to an all-time ratings low, according to SportsMediaWatch. The Classic averaged a 1.5 household rating and 2.6 million viewers, down 8 percent from last year’s Classic.

In Chicago, the Winter Classic delivered a 7.4 household rating for NBC-owned WMAQ-TV. While the game was the most-watched program in its time period – defeating ABC’s Outback Bowl and ESPN’s Cotton Bowl, the number was down a whopping 35 percent from the last time the Blackhawks appeared in the Winter Classic, a 2015 New Year’s Day matchup with the Washington Capitals. With the Blackhawks suddenly struggling, the ratings drop locally should be a huge concern for the team and the NHL in general.

Keep in mind Chicago’s two New Year’s Eve specials (Countdown Chicago and Chi-Town Rising) also showed double-digit drops from last year. The ratings decline for all three events in Chicago should sound alarms for local television executives.

In St. Louis, the game scored an impressive 15.5 rating for Tegna’s KSDK-TV.

In other ratings news, January 2 also saw the heavily-hyped season premieres of  NBC’s The Celebrity Apprentice and ABC’s The Bachelor. This season of Celebrity Apprentice marks the first edition in two years and features new host Arnold Schwarzenegger, taking over for Donald Trump (you know what happened to him.)

Surprisingly, the Terminator was terminated – ABC scored a 2.1 adults 18-49 rating for The Bachelor, compared to a 1.3 for Apprentice, giving the reality dating series a 61 percent ratings advantage over The Arnold. Given the hype and promotion for Celebrity Apprentice, consider this a disappointing start.

As for The Bachelor…do you think contestants bragging about sex so early in the evening is a good idea? Not exactly family-friendly television.

Then again in an era where you can get porn 24/7 (and for free) – and when the former host of Celebrity Apprentice brags about “grabbing women by the…” well, you know, this shouldn’t come as a shock.

Meanwhile, NBC’s new game The Wall showed tremendous growth night-to-night for its two-day premiere. Monday’s episode premiered out of Celebrity Apprentice Monday with a 1.2 adults 18-49 rating. While it did hold most of the audience of Apprentice, the rating was down from the 1.6 it earned two weeks ago during the special “preview”.

However, Tuesday’s night episode of The Wall averaged a 1.7, tying ABC’s The Middle for second place and came within one-tenth of a ratings point of NCIS, who had a 1.8 (of course, NCIS dominated total viewers with more than 15 million of them.) The Wall’s night-to-night growth was 41 percent.

The Wall also easily passed Fox’s new comedy The Mick, which earned a 1.3. However, the series grew 18 percent from its New Girl lead-in.

Social media reaction to Monday’s edition of The Wall – a combination of The Price Is Right‘s Plinko and Who Wants To Be A Millionaire – was brutal – particularly when the couple lost all their money when a red ball (destined to subtract money) slid into the million slot, with many viewers declaring the show “rigged”.

As anyone knows, “rigging” game shows is next to impossible, especially after the quiz show scandals of the 1950’s, with Congress passing strict laws regarding the oversight of game shows. But the angst regarding The Wall more likely comes from the odious format of the show, which leaves a lot to be desired.

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