The Muppets made their big return to network television last night with the premiere of "A Muppets Christmas: Letters to Santa" on NBC. The hour-long television special involves the Muppets mistakenly intercepting three letters intended for Santa Claus and their odyssey to deliver the messages to the North Pole.
The Muppets proved extremely popular for NBC in the ratings. According to the Nielsen overnight estimates, the premiere of "A Muppet's Christmas: Letters to Santa" won its 8pm timeslot with a 4.1/7 share, attracting more than 7.44-million viewers. The special also ranked particularly high with adults (ages 18-49), winning the demographic with an average Nielsen rating of 2.4. "A Muppets Christmas" brought NBC's ratings up more 71 percent over last week's presentation of "Little Spirit: Christmas in New York," which managed a mere 1.4 in the same timeslot.
While NBC is not planning to re-air the special on TV this holiday season, the network has decided to make the entire special available to watch online (for free) through NBC.com and Hulu.com. So if you missed the special, or if you want to share it with someone else, or if you just want to watch it again (and again, and again), now you can view the whole uncut special online. NBC's online offering will only be available for a limited time (December 18 – 31), so be sure to catch it while you can.
I've also been told by sources within the Muppets Studio that a DVD release of the production is being looked at to coincide with the 2009 holiday season. I will keep you updated as more information on the future of the special and its release surfaces; but be sure to watch, rewatch and share the special while its available online (until the end of the year) and have a merry Christmas!