Yule Log Smokes TV Rivals

By Michael Schneider HOLLYWOOD (Variety)

The Yule Log's hot.
Brought out of retirement after a 12-year hiatus, the "Yule Log" -- Quite simply, a camera trained on a piece of wood set ablaze inside a homey fireplace, with a background of holiday music -- won the Christmas morning ratings race for New York's WPIX-TV. Perhaps the ultimate in non-scripted, no-frills programming, the Yule Log aired from 8-10 a.m. The Tribune Co.-owned indie pulled a 3.1 rating and 10 share for the two hours, according to Nielsen Station Index numbers. The Yule Log had been a WPIX staple from 1966-89 and later was revived on the Internet. The log, along with other holiday programming including the mid-1980s edition of "A Christmas Carol" starring George C. Scott, helped WPIX win the day from sign-on to sign-off.