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Frosty Ices Justin

December 3, 2003

As a member of 'N Sync, Justin Timberlake vied with the Backstreet Boys for the youth nation's hearts and impressionable minds. As a solo artist, he faces even more formidable competition.

Perhaps none more formidable, or cooler, than Frosty the Snowman.

Put simply, the animated iceman cometh down hard on Timberlake in a head-to-head holiday-TV-ratings showdown, per Nielsen Media Research.

CBS' back-to-back airings of 1969's Frosty the Snowman (39th place, 10.1 million viewers) and its 1990s sequel, Frosty Returns (41st place, 9.9 million), froze out the former boybander's NBC special, Justin Timberlake: Down Home in Memphis (95th place, 3.7 million). The cartoons aired opposite Timberlake in the 8-9 p.m., Friday, time slot.

Timberlake didn't just take it on the pretty chin to the jolly, happy soul; he also lost a personal numbers battle with ex-girlfriend Britney Spears. Spears' own network special, airing November 17 on ABC, was watched by roughly 45 percent more viewers.

Aided by Frosty's pluck, CBS didn't break a sweat in the TV week ended Sunday. It had the most viewers (averaging 13.3 million), the most demographically desirable types (consumers aged 18-49) and the most shows in the Top 10 (eight). On Tuesday, CBS summed up its clean sweep with a spirited press release titled "Holy Crap!"