The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade made a grand return this year with a fully packed live audience, which is a departure from last year’s crowd-less special. Al Roker, Savannah Guthrie, and Hoda Kotb hosted the three-hour event with Roker’s reactions being especially well-received this year. And so that brings us to the moment you’ve all been waiting for: The grand reveal of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade TV ratings.
Okay, so maybe TV ratings aren’t all that earth-shattering but maybe you’re still curious. How many people tuned in? How did the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade measure up this year?
If you’re a lover and hoping it topped astronomical records, then you might be in for a bit of disappointment. On the other hand, if you’re a “hater” and searching for news of its doom, you won’t find that here either. That’s because this year’s special falls somewhere in the middle.
The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Sees a Dip in Some Aspects But a Surge in Others
So, you read the subheading. The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade saw a dip in some aspects this year, while also seeing a surge in others. Let me explain. Overall, Variety reports that NBC nabbed over 25 million viewers on Thursday with its 95th telecast of the annual event. More specifically, the three-hour special brought in 25.4 million viewers which earned it a 6.4 rating among adults ages 18-49. That number comes from early Nielsen fast nationals stats released by NBC directly.
So, the bad news first. This 25.4 number fell slightly below last year’s viewership which stood closer to 26 million viewers at 25.9 million. Not too shabby.
And the good news? The 25.4 million in viewership actually ranks as NBC’s most-watched event since the 2020 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. It even beat out this year’s Grammys (which stands at a 2.1 rating for the 18-49 demographic), the Oscars (which stands at 1.9), and the Emmys (which also stands at 1.9).
History of the Event
We know a lot of our Outsiders are history buffs, so you might be wondering how the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade even got its start. The story goes that the parade began as an extravagant event for the retailer of the same namesake in 1924 in the famed Herald Square of Manhattan. NBC eventually got brought on to cover the event a few decades later in ’53.
Each year, the telecast grew until its signature became the parade fit with giant inflatable balloons, marching bands, floats, and performers. The family-friendly event continues to be held annually and boasts the title as one of television’s oldest traditions.
Many take it as not only a celebration of Thanksgiving but also the official welcoming of the Christmas season.