Lady Gaga's "A Very Gaga Thanksgiving" special may have been a triumph of overly-glammed performances, cooking segments with celebrity chefs and craft-time activities with third graders, but none of that was enough to overtake a time-tested Turkey Day classic, "A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving."
Yes, Charlie, Peppermint Patty, Snoopy et al. bested Gaga in the Thanksgiving ratings battle, though the race was much closer than you'd probably expect. (Both programs aired on ABC.) "Charlie Brown Thanksgiving" — first broadcast in 1973 — was watched by some 5.8 million viewers on Thursday night, while "A Very Gaga Thanksgiving" was seen by 5.4 million, according to the Nielsen ratings. Both drew roughly the same audience share in the 18-49 age demo, though neither could compete with the big Thanksgiving-night winner: a repeat of CBS's "The Big Bang Theory," which was watched by more than 11 million viewers.
Fox's "Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas" was the most-viewed holiday special, watched by some 7.1 million folks.
And though it couldn't beat "Big Bang" or the animated "Ice Age" critters, "A Very Gaga Thanksgiving" did perform rather solidly. In fact, it managed to beat a whole lot of competing prime-time Thanksgiving programming, including NBC's re-airing of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade (3.7 million viewers) and another Charlie Brown special, "Happiness Is a Warm Blanket, Charlie Brown," which was watched by 5 million viewers.
In the days leading up to her big Thanksgiving debut, Gaga took to Twitter to announce the release of a specially priced holiday EP, A Very Gaga Holiday. Then, again, Charlie Brown had her beat there, too: A Charlie Brown Christmas soundtrack was first released in 1965, after all.