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Betty White gets (nearly) 14 million well-wishers!

Actress Betty White holds some Siamese kittens at

Actress Betty White holds some Siamese kittens at a Beverly HIlls, Calif., hotel. (Feb. 17, 1996) Credit: AP

My theory is coming true: Betty White will indeed be the savior of NBC. It's just a matter of time now. Nearly 14 million people tuned in to her "Betty White's 90th Birthday" special last night! 

Yes: That's a huge number, and for NBC an almost unheard of one. Consider that just under 17 million checked out the Golden Globes which means . . . Betty White is nearly as important as the Golden Globes.

But -- to paraphrase Carlin -- there is a cloud behind this silver lining: Nearly 12.2 million watched that awful-and-I-do-mean-awful "Betty White's Off their Rockers" at 9:30.

Nevertheless, this was very smart programming by NBC. Foremost, older people watch more TV than younger people, and older people also know that there are very, very, very few older faces on the tube. Betty -- a national treasure -- attracted some other treasures to her wonderful funky "Birthday" special and older viewers turned out in droves for them.

NBC has yet to set a date for "Off Their Rockers," but you can bet it's coming soon. This could be a bona fide hit. And Betty White could be Super Man. 

 Here's a clip from the funkydelic special, if you missed it.

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