On Thursday night ABC aired the Spike Lee tribute to the late Michael Jackson, “Michael Jackson: Bad 25”. The 90-minute musical special was made to honor the 25th anniversary of the making of Michael’s video “Bad”, and featured a stay studded line up. Music industry celebrities such as Mariah Carey, Kanye West and Chris Brown sat down for interviews to dish about the late, great musical legend.
ABC has aired musical specials that perform well in ratings this time of year in the past as well, with Thanksgiving 2011 introducing “A Very Gaga Thanksgiving”. However, this year’s Michael Jackson special brought in disappointing numbers, despite last year’s successes. “Bad” tied ratings with the repeat of “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” as the lowest-rated show of the evening. Pulling 4.6 million viewers and a 1.2 rating for the 19-24 demographic, “Bad” was down by a disappointing 25 percent from last year’s Gaga special.
So what was the problem? Well, as it often goes, tradition beats out everything else over the holiday season. It seems that Americans were more interested in tuning in to NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” instead of looking back on 25 years of Michael Jackson history Thursday night. Thanksgiving and football go together like turkey and stuffing, and the New England vs. New York game pulled in 16 million viewers.
It is likely that the music special might have pulled in some more impressive ratings and attention had it been aired on a different date. We can probably expect to see a few reruns of the show in the near future, so if you love the king of pop and want to tune in to “Michael Jackson: Bad 25” keep your eyes peeled – as long as it isn’t on at the same time as a football game, of course.