The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is an annual staple, and this year's event pulled in 22.1 million viewers, keeping the ratings about even with the 2018 broadcast. The Wrap reports that this year's tally is down just under 7 percent from last year's audience of 23.7 million and made the parade the third most-watched entertainment program of 2019 so far, sitting behind the Oscars and the post-Super Bowl episode of the CBS competition show World's Best.
The Macy's parade earned a 5.49 rating with adults between ages 18-49. Year-over-year, the program is down 8 percent in the demo, down from a 5.98 rating in 2018.
The 2019 parade featured appearances by Natasha Bedingfield, Black Eyed Peas, Chicago, Ciara, Josh Dela Cruz, Celine Dion, Jimmy Fallon and the Roots, Debbie Gibson, former NASA astronauts Kay Hire & Janet Kavandi, Chris Janson, Idina Menzel, Lea Michele, Miss America 2019 Nia Franklin, NHL legends Dominic Moore and Eddie Olczyk, the cast & Muppets of Sesame Street, NCT 127, Ozuna, Billy Porter, Kelly Rowland, That Girl Lay Lay, TLC, Tenille Townes and Chris Young along with the one and only Santa Claus.
Along with performers and floats, the parade also featured a roster of iconic balloon characters, many of whom were flying lower than usual due to high wind. Officials were prepared to prohibit the balloons from flying but ultimately decided to have them flown closer to the ground. The Ronald McDonald balloon even suffered from a rip in its leg that led to the balloon's removal from the parade before it could complete its route. Other balloons in this year's parades included Pikachu, Sonic the Hedgehog, Astronaut Snoopy, Spongebob and Gary and the new Green Eggs and Ham balloon.
There were also several social media-appreciated moments throughout the broadcast, including a man dressed as a stick of butter who interrupted Al Roker twice during the show.
"I hate to butter you up, but you've got to move on," Roker told the man during their first encounter before giving him a light shove. The second time around, the man told the host, "We're buttering you up! Butter your turkey, butter your ham!"
"And that's why everybody loves clowns," Roker told the audience.
Photo Credit: Getty / Ira L. Black - Corbis