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Sunday’s Super Bowl XLVIII, on track to be the smallest showing since 2010, still gave a hefty boost to Fox’s chosen lead-out for this year’s game: New Girl and Brooklyn Nine-Nine. New Girl posted the best post-Super Bowl ratings for a scripted show since Fox last had the game and aired Glee in 2011.
Adjusted ratings for the sitcoms give New Girl 25.8 million viewers and an 11.1 rating among adults 18-49. That’s up 42 percent in the demo and 23 percent among viewers from last year’s Super Bowl follow-up, Elementary. CBS saw that episode air much later than normal on account of the game’s blackout delay, averaging 20.86 million viewers and a 7.8 rating among adults 18-49. New Girl started a little earlier than anticipated, airing between 10:23 and 11:54 p.m. ET.
The last time a sitcom aired after the Super Bowl was The Office in 2009, which averaged 22.9 million viewers for a one-hour episode. (The first half-hour averaged 27.2 million, dipping to 18.7 million in the second half.) As for Brooklyn Nine-Nine, the freshman show saw a predicted drop from the first half-hour of entertainment programming. The show, which aired between 10:54 and 11:25 p.m. ET, averaged 14.8 million viewers and a 6.7 rating among adults 18-49.
The two shows averaged together came just shy of last year’s one-hour outing of Elementary with 20.8 million viewers. Both comedies had the disadvantage of coming on the heels of a blowout game. This year’s Super Bowl, which saw the Seattle Seahawks win 43-8, was the most lopsided one since 1993.
Reality seems to remain the best bet after the Super Bowl. The 2012 episode of The Voice averaged 37.6 million, while CBS’ Undercover Boss surged to 38.7 million in 2010.
The Big Four race for runner-up proved expectedly lackluster. Unlike many cable networks, which had aggressive counterprogramming plans, ABC, CBS and NBC aired all repeats. All said, ABC took a very distant second place to Fox for the night with an average 0.7 rating among adults 18-49. The net was outperformed in total viewers by CBS, which pulled 3.9 million.
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