Basking in the electric glow of a billion little colored lights, welcome to Volume 3 of The Numbers Game, your home for U.S. Phineas and Ferb ratings news.

The big number for the week is, of course, Friday night's Disney Channel US premiere of "Phineas and Ferb Christmas Vacation!", and it did not disappoint. The highly anticipated holiday special drew 5.2 million total viewers[1], making it the No. 1 kid-targeted program on cable and No. 5 among all cable for the week behind only Monday Night Football and the Heisman Trophy presentation on ESPN, and The Closer and Men of a Certain Age on TNT. It also boasted the highest viewership for any Disney Channel program in nearly two months, since 5.7 million viewers tuned in for a new Hannah Montana back on October 18.

The 5.213 million viewers for "Christmas Vacation!" dwarfed the previous series high of 4.449 million for the "Phineas and Ferb Musical Cliptastic Countdown". Perhaps more interesting is where the additional viewers came from - viewership in the show's primary Kids 6-11 demographic was virtually identical between "Christmas Vacation!"[2] and the "Cliptastic Countdown"[3]. The answer lies in the 2.8 household rating, abnormally low for viewership of this magnitude, suggesting that many families watched the special together. Whether those additional viewers liked what they saw and keep watching Phineas and Ferb in the future remains to be seen.

Finally, enthusiasm for the special remained equally high on iTunes, with "Christmas Vacation!" peaking at No. 6 among the best-selling episodes over the weekend.

I'm curious how "Christmas Vacation!" will do this weekend on ABC Family. If I can find those numbers, I'll be back next week. Otherwise, a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all, and remember that the numbers never lie.


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