The Program After The 'Super Bowl': How Will 'Elementary' Do? (Poll+Ratings History)

Categories: Broadcast TV,TV Ratings Reference

Written By

January 30th, 2013

Update: our polled readers were too optimistic, though in their defense, it would've been hard to predict the late start time in advance. Elementary averaged 20.8 million viewers.

The timeslot immediately following the Super Bowl has in recent years been used to either premiere a new show, give a sampling boost to an existing relatively new show, or just reap the bonus advertising revenue from an already well performing veteran.

This year, CBS has slated Elementary to follow the big game, its only freshman scripted show that seems likely to survive the season.

Last year, NBC went with The Voice after the Super Bowl, and it averaged a very nice 37.61 million viewers.

What do you think the viewership of Elementary following the Super Bowl will be and why?

If you'd like to guess the viewership for the Super Bowl itself, click here.

The "Program After The Super Bowl" Ratings History

Super Bowl Year Network Program HH Rating HH Share Avg. Homes (million) Avg. Viewers (million)
XLVI 2012 NBC The Voice 18.4 31 37.611
XLV 2011 FOX Glee 13.6 25 15.777 26.796
XLIV 2010 CBS Undercover Boss 19.1 32 21.91 38.654
XLIII 2009 NBC The Office 11.6 21 13.338 22.905
XLII 2008 FOX House 15.7 27 17.719 29.045
XLI 2007 CBS Criminal Minds 15.1 26 16.770 26.314
XL 2006 ABC Grey's Anatomy 21.0 34 23.106 37.881
XXXIX 2005 FOX Simpsons 13.0 22 14.228 23.074
XXXVIII 2004 CBS Survivor All-Star 17.9 32 19.415 33.535
XXXVII 2003 ABC Alias 10.6 20 11.283 17.362
XXXVI 2002 FOX Malcolm In The Middle 11.5 21 12.117 21.445
XXXV 2001 CBS Survivor II 24.5 39 25.076 45.369
XXXIV 2000 ABC The Practice 15.3 27 15.420 23.847
XXXIII 1999 FOX Family Guy -Preview 12.6 21 12.560 22.005
XXXII 1998 NBC Third Rock from the Sun 19.7 34 19.260 33.662
XXXI 1997 FOX X-Files 17.2 29 16.730 29.098
XXX 1996 NBC Friends 29.6 46 28.400 52.925
XXIX 1995 ABC Extreme Special 14.2 25 13.350 22.594
XXVIII 1994 NBC John Laroquette Show 12.3 22 11.590 17.708
XXVII 1993 NBC Homicide Special 18.0 31 16.760 28.121
XXVI 1992 CBS 60 Minutes 16.8 30 15.470 24.821
XXV 1991 ABC Davis Rules 15.5 25 14.430 26.695
XXIV 1990 CBS Grand Slam 18.6 30 17.130 30.765
XXIII 1989 NBC Sun Nite Movie 20.9 36 18.890
XXII 1988 ABC Wonder Years 17.9 31 15.860 28.976
XXI 1987 CBS Hard Copy Special 19.8 33 17.310
XX 1986 NBC NBC Sunday Night Movie 16.5 25 14.170 39.729
XIX 1985 ABC Macgrouder and Loud 22.8 38 19.360
XVIII 1984 CBS Airwolf Special(s) 21.6 36 18.100 27.874
XVII 1983 NBC A-Team Special 26.3 39 21.910 21.910
XVI 1982 CBS 60 Minutes 26.2 36 21.350
XV 1981 NBC Chips 16.3 26 12.680
XIV 1980 CBS 60 Minutes 33.0 50 25.179 40.746
XIII 1979 NBC Brothers and Sisters 21.0 32 15.650 31.722
XII 1978 CBS All In the Family 30.4 47 22.160 35.472
XI 1977 NBC Disney's "Kit Carson" 25.8 37 18.370 42.816
X 1976 CBS Phoenix Open Golf 16.5 31 11.480 22.363
IX 1975 NBC NBC Sunday Night News 16.7 28 11.440 15.924
VIII 1974 CBS Perry Mason** 12.7 20 8.410 15.058
VII 1973 NBC Disney's "The Mystery 28.4 44 18.400
VI 1972 CBS 60 Minutes 20.3 36 12.610
V 1971 NBC Bing CrosbyPro-Am Golf Champshps 19.2 36 11.540
IV 1970 CBS Lassie 21.5 34 12.580
III 1969 NBC G.E. College Bowl 11.7 21 6.670
II 1968 CBS Lassie 26.3 41.2 14.730
I 1967 CBS Lassie 15.6 25.3 8.560
I 1967 NBC Disney's "The Mosby Raiders" Part II 21.7 33.7 11.910

2006-12 numbers are Live+Same Day, all others are Live Viewing.

Nielsen TV Ratings: ©2013 The Nielsen Company. All Rights Reserved.
For comparison, here are the historical Super Bowl ratings themselves.

  • CrimTV

    I get people are annoyed that it wasn’t 2 Broke Girls or POI, but they are doing well enough already!

  • Bill Gorman

    “Bill, There’s no historical 18-49 post-super bowl program ratings?”

    We certainly have them for the last five years somewhere on the site, but like most long term data series we have directly from Nielsen, the older data is only viewership and HH ratings.

  • Bill Gorman

    “I thought in 2010 Hawaii 5-0 was after the Super Bowl.”

    H50 was after the AFC Championship game that year.

  • Patrick Ausgewahlt

    Comedies and Comedy-Dramas get lower viewership, but better in demo. The Office got a 10.6 and Glee got a 11.1. Elementary will get no where close. I think they should have grouped TBBT and Two and a Half Men (perhaps HIMYM or even Two Broke Girls). The Big Bang Theory could have easily gotten a 12 or higher.

  • American

    CBS should’ve done like NBC had done with Friends…TBBT after SB!!

  • Ron

    I’m thinking low 20s in viewers. There just isn’t alot of buzz surrounding this show and its numbers have been less than impressive the past few months.
    CBS would have been smarter airing 2BG and BBT

  • Grey

    If the 49’ers lose I probably won’t be watching CBS or anything else after the game. I’ll be in the corner crying. :(

    But putting my personal neurosis aside; “Elementary” will probably do very well. I don’t know if it will do as well as “The Voice” last year but you never know. I think it depends on if the game holds the audience all the way to the end.

  • fringegot5seasons

    TBBT and 2BG pairing after the SB probably would have hit ridiculously high numbers but they don’t exactly need the boost.

    Elementary doesn’t exactly require a lot of attention to watch so I think it’ll do just fine, as opposed to if some big serial was on in the middle of an arc.

  • John A

    2 episodes of TBBT would do amazing. I mean its not like Elementary will get much of a boast from this.

  • Joseph

    If I were the general manager of a CBS affiliate, I would have pressured the network to stretch the Super Bowl post-game show until 11 P.M. EST, and then for local newscasts to begin as usual at 11.

    This way, local CBS stations would get a huge lead-in for their late newscasts on Super Sunday.

    If I got to convince the network to stretch the post-game show so it directly leads into my late news, I’d assign my weeknight anchor team to the post-Super Bowl newscast to help promote them.

    Yes, the network wants to promote an entertainment show, but I suspect local stations would prefer their late newscast on Super Sunday to start on-schedule (unless the game went into overtime) and for the post-game show to lead directly into the news.

  • JulieDawn

    I say 22 million – because the games never end anywhere near on time and viewers who just want to see Elementary will either give up or (if they are in the east) have to go to bed so instead just record it or watch it On Demand later.

    It would be interesting to see a comparison of East coast nbrs vs West Coast nbrs…..

  • POI

    If they aired TBBT it might hit a 40 million and then increase dramatically as new episodes air, it can be the new friends rating and quality wise.

  • Samunto

    I think about 25mil. It barely gets a 2.5 now.

  • jake3988

    Pretty much the only reason the voice has as many viewers as it does was because it was the post super bowl program last year.

    WOuld be cool if elementary held on to a lot of the audience like that.

  • Sammy01

    I really like Elementary so I hope as high as possible. Nice to see the network give it the post Super Bowl slot as it shows faith in the series.

  • Lance

    Rlementary is hardly a “buzz” show so few will stay tuned. About 20 million or so, no more.

  • DenverDean

    It’s clear that reality UB, TV, Survivor are able to generate the best overall ratings because they appeal to a broad spectrum. Comedies have not done well. Dramas have been consistent, but 20-30% lower than reality during the past few years with GA exception (Code Black promotion was brilliant.)

  • Ultima

    If I were the general manager of a CBS affiliate, I would have pressured the network to stretch the Super Bowl post-game show until 11 P.M. EST, and then for local newscasts to begin as usual at 11.

    You seriously think that there’s going to be more viewers left after over an hour of postgame than after Elementary?


    Stupid decision on CBSs part… Elementary is gettin low 2.0’s and will most likly get cancelled after next year. They are waiting it on this show that doesn’t even look interesting. CBS may be in first place, but I think they need to stray away from the procedural shows. CBS is for the old and has no scripted dramas that appeal to a younger crowd. Which is why all of their freshman dramas are tanking. Vegas, Elementary, Made In Jersey, ect.. Offered nothing new to the TV landscape. Their veterain shows are loosing steam as well. I suggest they bring some exitment to the next season lineup. FOX is/ and has been trying to bring exiting fresh dramas – Terra Nova/The Following/Touch. NBC took a chance on Revolution, and same with ABC with OUAT. Just saying CBS will eventually need to freshin things up when their viewers (mostly the old) die off.


    Wasting* not waiting ^

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