Mark Giangreco and Janet Davies were dethroned as the king and queen of New Year’s Eve Thursday, as many more local TV viewers tuned in to see the inaugural broadcast of “Chi-Town Rising,” featuring a giant star ascending over the Chicago River.
Straight up at midnight, “Chi-Town Rising” on NBC-owned WMAQ-Channel 5 had a 17.1 rating and 36 share, while “Countdown Chicago 2016” on ABC-owned WLS-Channel 7 had a 14.2 rating and 30 share, according to Nielsen figures released Friday.
That translates to 594,259 households for NBC 5 versus 493,478 households for ABC 7.
ABC 7 promoted the 25th anniversary of its New Year’s Eve countdown show as a Chicago tradition, starring the always-playful duo of Davies and Giangreco with such other familiar faces as Alan Krashesky, Terrell Brown, Hosea Sanders, Cheryl Scott, Val Warner, Ryan Chiaverini and Ji Suk Yi.
For years ABC 7 has won the ratings overwhelmingly for its effort without any serious local competition — until this time.
The NBC 5 maiden production was not without considerable problems, including a title that many Chicagoans found grating (“Chi-Town” has simply got to go), a gaggle of carpetbagging hosts (led by Hollywood couple Mario and Courtney Lopez), and an inexcusable failure to synchronize the countdown at midnight with the rising of the star.
For their full broadcasts, the margin between the two stations was closer: From 11:15 p.m. to 12:30 a.m., NBC 5 averaged a 12.2 rating and 27 share. From 11:15 p.m. to 12:15 a.m., ABC 7 averaged an 11.8 rating and 25 share.
One rating point represents 34,752 households; share is percent of sets in use.