Garth Brooks a Ratings Winner With CBS Special

George Strait & Garth Brooks
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George Strait and Garth Brooks perform onstage during the 48th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on April 7, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

"Garth Brooks, Live From Las Vegas" gave CBS a Thanksgiving weekend winner, drawing 9.33 million viewers during its second hour, according to Nielsen, as the network cruised to No. 1 in the ratings during both hours the special ran Friday, Nov. 29.

Used by Brooks to promote his multi-disc CD/DVD box set, "Blame It All On My Roots," the special also served as the closing concert in his residency at the Wynn Las Vegas. Pacing the stage through much of the show, Brooks incorporated plenty of storytelling and comedic bits as he showed how his family's musical tastes in the 1960s and '70s helped shape the music that he introduced, beginning in 1989.

Relying primarily on snippets, choruses and musical fragments of songs, he connected the dots between the chords and performances of classics by Bob Seger, James Taylor and Marvin Gaye to his elements of his own hits, such as "The Thunder Rolls," "The River" and "Rodeo."

He did not connect the dots to a forthcoming tour, though one is widely anticipated.

Comparatively, Brooks more than doubled the audience of another star-driven music special that aired a night before. ABC's "Lady Gaga & The Muppets Holiday Spectacular" attracted 3.6 million viewers -- with a 0.9 rating in the 18-49 demo -- on Thanksgiving night.


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