February 24, 2014 11:09am PT by Michael O'Connell
TV Ratings: NBC Midseason Comedies Get Decent Post-Sochi Samplings
Remember when 12.8 million people tuned in to the premiere of Animal Practice? Not many do. NBC's ill-fated veterinary sitcom, complete with monkey co-star, fell off the ratings ledge after its big post-London Olympics debut. It was canceled after just six episodes.
The network's strategy to sample new series immediately after coverage of the Olympic Games did not yield long-lasting results in 2012, but Sochi's comparatively small showing this past weekend set a lower bar. Midseason comedies About a Boy and Growing Up Fisher fared well in their Saturday and Sunday openers, and they're all-but-guaranteed a much bigger lead-in from The Voice when each moves to its regular time slot on Tuesday.
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Saturday, coming off of Sochi coverage, the 11:05 p.m. debut of About a Boy averaged 8.26 million viewers and a 2.2 rating among adults 18-49. And last night, Growing Up Fisher was in line with its fellow newbie's opening with 8.862 million viewers and a 2.0 rating in the demo.
The Olympics, on both nights, were not particularly strong -- offering a lead-in of a 2.9 rating among adults 18-49 in both the prior half-hours. Barring any massive drop, The Voice is bound to outperform Sochi as a launchpad. Last fall's Tuesday debut brought in 14.4 million viewers and a 4.7 in the demo, while the comparable Tuesday premiere last March earned 12.4 million viewers and a 4.1 in the demo.
NBC revives its play for Tuesday comedies this week -- the first time it has aired half-hours on the night since the cancellation of last season's Go On and The New Normal. About a Boy sees its official debut at 9 p.m., with Growing Up Fisher following at 9:30.