Lady Gaga Muppet special a ratings turkey

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Lady Gaga’s holiday special failed to generate much applause. The ARTPOP singer’s Thanksgiving special with The Muppets disappointed in the ratings Thursday night.

ABC’s 90-minute Lady Gaga & The Muppets Holiday Spectacular had only 3.6 million viewers and a 0.9 rating among adults 18-49 at 9:30 p.m. That’s considerable less than ABC’s 8 p.m. annual repeat of a 40-year-old holiday special, A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving (5.3 million, 1.6 in demo).

Perhaps a more telling comparison: Lady Gaga’s previous ABC holiday effort, A Very Gaga Thanksgiving, aired in this same slot two year ago, but had a 78 percent higher rating (5.4 million total viewers, 1.6 rating). Here’s our writer’s take on last night’s Gaga special (“Gaga and Kermit have zero chemistry”), which featured Gaga performing Christmas classics with Muppet favs, along with guests such as Elton John, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Ru Paul.

Meanwhile: Football was king, of course, with NBC’s Pittsburgh at Baltimore coverage delivering approximately 18.6 million viewers. Fox was the only network to stick with original episodes of its usual lineup, but The X Factor (3.8 million, 1.0) and Glee (2.8 million, 0.9) both performed ultra-modestly.

UPDATE: Garth Brooks special Friday doubles Gaga!

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