Story highlights The Thanksgiving episode of “Family Guy” and “The Big Bang Theory” are among the most-watched shows on Thanksgiving Day.
Thanksgiving is not only the best day of the year, it’s the biggest day of the year for television audiences.
And it’s no surprise that there are more and more TV shows geared toward holiday viewing. The big brands already turning this date into a retail occasion tend to do so with a heavy dose of commercials, with more than 20 prime-time shows airing an hour worth of advertisements on Thursday. And a new study by iSpot.tv, an online advertising platform that tracks TV ad spending, found that the most-watched Thanksgiving episode of TV shows on that day came from the CBS comedy “The Big Bang Theory.” That show aired at 8 p.m. ET, while NBC’s “The Voice” aired at the same time.
The lowest-watched show was the faith-based series “Falling Water,” which aired at 10 p.m. ET.
The Thanksgiving episode of “The Big Bang Theory” led with 147,870 viewers, with the second highest-rated show being “South Park” at 10 p.m. ET.
But there are some Thanksgiving specials that are worth watching despite their low ratings. In fact, there were 15 Thanksgiving episodes that raked in more than 100,000 viewers on that day. The highest-rated one, according to iSpot.tv, was the 1993 ‘All-American Thanksgiving’ on NBC. That episode drew in 245,681 viewers.
To identify the most-watched Thanksgiving episodes, iSpot.tv looked at its database of 3.5 billion viewing data points provided by tens of thousands of advertisers over the past two years. The data goes back to 2014 to better understand the history of Thanksgiving TV.
The data is self-reported by advertisers from TV, movie and radio advertisements, and YouTube ads from TV, radio and streaming videos. The data also includes data from internet traffic from Shazam to a participant’s computer or cellphone, which is then recorded by iSpot.tv.