NBC’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Telecast Tops 25 Million Viewers, But Dips From 2020

Eric Liebowitz/NBC

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NBC grabbed more than 25 million viewers on Thursday with its telecast of the 95th Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

The three-hour special that aired 9 a.m.-noon in all time zones and the 2 p.m.-5 p.m. repeat brought in a total of 25.4 million viewers and an impressive 6.4 rating in adults 18-49, according to early Nielsen fast nationals provided by NBC. That was slightly below the turnout of 25.9 million viewers for both telecasts in 2020, when the parade was produced only for TV because of COVID-19 pandemic.

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Despite the dip, NBC noted that the 25.4 million live-same-day viewers ranks as the network’s most-watched entertainment telecast since the 2020 Macy’s parade. In adults 18-49, the parade packed more of a punch as a live telecast than this year’s Grammy Awards (2.1 rating), Oscars (1.9) and Emmys (1.9).

NBC followed the parade on its Thanksgiving Day lineup as usual with “The National Dog Show Presented by Purina.” The two-hour special brought in 11.2 million viewers live and a 2.8 rating in adults 18-49.

The boost of circulation during the day plus the traditional Thanksgiving “Football Night in America” primetime NFL showcase paid dividends for NBC all the way through late night. “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” (2.7 million total viewers) and “Late Night With Seth Meyers” (1.5 million) saw their highest total viewer tallies since Thanksgiving 2019.

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is one of television’s oldest annual traditions. The parade began as a ballyhoo event for the famed retailer in Manhattan’s Herald Square in 1924. NBC began covering the event in 1953. The telecast is a massive live production for NBC. The parade, with its signature blend of giant inflatable character balloons, floats, marching bands and performance segments, and has turned into a prime promotional showcase for family friendly entertainment fare.

(Pictured: Stars of Peacock comedy “Girls5eva” Paula Pell, Reneé Elise Goldsberry, Sara Bareilles and Busy Philipps take part in the 95th Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade)

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