NBC’s Olympics coverage provided a nice boost for returning comedy Superstore on Friday.
The special Olympics-themed episode of the America Ferrera-led series drew a 3.3 rating among adults 18-49 and 9.7 million viewers following NBC’s primetime coverage from Rio. That number easily topped Superstore‘s previous high (2.0 for the series premiere).
However, it wasn’t all good news for NBC Friday, as the network’s primetime Olympics coverage dipped again to a 13.6 overnight rating among households. Fast-affiliate scores give primetime coverage 18.1 million viewers and a 4.7 rating among adults 18-49 for NBC.
Friday’s coverage included Jamaican track and field star Usain Bolt’s final Olympics appearance ever.
With two nights left of the Olympics, the NBC-only coverage now stands at an average of 25.8 million viewers and a 14.8 household rating. Rio continues to sag behind the London Olympics, which were averaging more than 31 million viewers at this point in the 2012 Summer Games.
NBC also hit an important milestone online: NBC Digital has clocked 2.5 billion live-streaming minutes as of Friday.
Superstore‘s numbers don’t come close to the 16.1 million viewers and 5.6 rating a special preview of Matthew Perry’s comedy Go On earned during the 2012 Summer Games. However, that episode aired following coverage on the second Wednesday, not Friday, of that year’s games. In addition, there is the marked decrease in average viewership between 2012 and this year’s games.
However, NBC brass already have proven their patience with the series. At the Television Critics Association summer press tour this month, NBC Entertainment Chairman Bob Greenblatt noted that with significant time-shifting and DVR numbers factored in, Superstore‘s series premiere equaled the viewership of the most recent Voice season premiere.
“We’re defining success of these shows in a different way, and we’re watching the economics catch up with that,” NBC Entertainment President Jennifer Salke said at the time.
NBC already has shown its confidence in the sophomore comedy by moving it to Thursdays to pair with its high-concept first-year comedy The Good Place, starring Kristen Bell and Ted Danson.
The season 11 premiere of The Voice, featuring new coaches Miley Cyrus and Alicia Keys, also will get a special Olympics preview on Sunday night, following the Olympics’ closing ceremony.