Housewives and Angels Outscore Menken and Ahrens Musical "A Christmas Carol" in Ratings

News   Housewives and Angels Outscore Menken and Ahrens Musical "A Christmas Carol" in Ratings Kelsey Grammer and musical theatre stars Jane Krakowski, Jesse L. Martin and Jason Alexander in NBC's "A Christmas Carol" were no match for ABC's quartet of "Desperate Housewives" or CBS' "When Angels Come to Town," according to preliminary Neilsen rating numbers.

The Alan Menken and Lynn Ahrens' two-hour television version of the musical "A Christmas Carol" which debuted on NBC Nov. 28 at 9 PM (ET) scored over 9.6 million viewers. It was, however, beaten by the new hit ABC show starring one-time Cabaret tour lead Teri Hatcher and Felicity Huffman (Speed-The-Plow) which registered 27 million viewers. (In ABC's 10-11 PM slot, the drama Boston Legal earned 14 million viewers.) CBS' holiday movie with Peter Falk, Katey Sagal and Gypsy star Tammy Blanchard also defeated the NBC musical with 14.5 million viewers.

The NBC retelling of Charles Dickens' beloved story about the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge's incredible journey on Christmas Eve reunites the songwriting team which created the 10-year run of the holiday classic for the Theatre at Madison Square Garden.

The all-star cast for the made-for-TV film includes Kelsey Grammer ("Frasier") as Ebenezer Scrooge, Jane Krakowski (Nine, "Ally McBeal") as the Ghost of Christmas Past, Jesse L. Martin (Rent, "Law & Order") as the Ghost of Christmas Present), Jason Alexander (The Producers, "Seinfeld") as Jacob Marley, Jennifer Love Hewitt ("Party of Five") as Scrooge's lost love Emily, Ruthie Henshall (Putting It Together) as the mother of young Scrooge and Geraldine Chaplin (The Little Foxes) as the Ghost of Christmas Future.

Arthur Allan Seidelman (Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks) directed the project for Hallmark Entertainment with choreography by Dan Siretta.

The musicalized version of A Christmas Carol is based on the stageshow created and directed by the late Mike Ockrent (Crazy For You, Me and My Girl). The adaptation features songs by composer Alan Menken (Beauty and the Beast, Little Shop of Horrors) and lyricist Lynn Ahrens (Ragtime, Once on This Island). The stage production — which ended its decade-long stint at MSG last year — was later overseen by his widow, Susan Stroman, the multi-Tony Award winner (The Producers, Contact) who also provided choreography. NBC will again broadcast the TV holiday musical Dec. 24 at 9 PM. The USA network also has airings slated for Dec. 6 at 9 PM, Dec. 7 at 4 PM and Dec. 11 at 4 PM. (All times ET.) Check your local listings. For more information, visit the NBC site at www.nbc.com.