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.

  • steve

    Why do people keep saying it should of been TBBT it’d of been a waste of a slot TBBT doesn’t need a superbowl boost.

  • Harrison

    People keep saying TBBT because it would be the program best-suited to challenging “Friends” for a recent viewership high.

    If Fox had it, The Following would have been a good choice.

  • networkman

    25-29 million

  • LE

    Why ABC doesn’t air the SuperBowl anymore??

  • Ben

    I think it depends as to whether or not the game is a blow out and decided in the first quarter (as some Super Bowl have been), or if it’s a close, evenly matched game until the end. I hope it’s the later and that San Francisco and Baltimore are two top notch teams and it’s competitive until the final seconds. It’s boring when one team dominates the other early on, which can cause viewers to change the channel to something else.

  • Hugh

    Less than Voice, more than 30m

  • Carl

    I had to stop and laugh at the mention of Terra Nova being fresh programming.

    I like Elementary, even if it’s on the wrong network and doesn’t seem to know what it’s supposed to be. However, I can’t see this connecting with a Super Bowl audience. I think it will be under 20 million.

  • Amy

    I’m surprised they didn’t decide to air H50 instead. I think the football audience would prefer that show.

  • Judith

    But the “Super Bowl audience” is pretty wide by nature. It doesn’t matter what they show, it’ll get a huge number (comparitively).

    Elementary, Scandal, and The Following have been the biggest surprises for me this season, so I’m glad E got the spot.

  • HalCapone

    Seems like an incredibly bad choice to follow the Super Bowl. The show skews old and has no buzz. Seems like a total waste of the post Super Bowl time slot. This is the best CBS has to offer?

  • SJ

    Just over 30 million. People seem to be so negative…

  • jessica

    I would have thought NCIS would be a nice choice. Its audience has been generally growing for a few years now and an episode after the Super Bowl could be huge. The time-slot is however ideal for showcasing a newer show the broadcaster is looking to showcase. Elementary isn’t a bad choice but Person Of Interest also could have worked.

    In Canada the post-game episode is the series premiere of Motive, a crime drama with a premise not too unlike ABC’s The Evidence from a few years back. Elementary is on a different network and they will likely have filler with an abrupt cut in the middle of some episode so as to simultaneously broadcast the new episode of Elementary.

  • LisaNeedsBraces

    SpottedRatings already crunched the numbers to prove that – with the exception of Grey’s Anatomy – every scripted show to get the SB slot saw an immediate and permanent decline in their regular ratings rather than a boost. I highly doubt Elementary is going to break that trend.

    The Super Bowl boost only applies to reality shows. In the entire history of the networks trying everything after the SB – every genre, established hits, pilots, cartoons – the only thing that has EVER worked in the slot has been reality shows. An interesting question would be why that is.

  • Enri

    Still think Elementary was a poor choice.

  • Dude

    You mean a flop that did better than The Office, The Simpsons, Alias, Malcolm in the Middle, The Practice, Family Guy…etc go back to your bridge.

  • bluejays

    it’s irrelevant. What matters are its long term regular ratings and they might see a week or two rise and then back to low to mid two’s.

  • Jay

    people just keep their TVs on…

  • tvetc

    TBBT can be a good choice but the show doesnt need the boost so im thinking it should be survivor (S25 instead airing last year or this upcoming 26th), since it already showed success before and it can give the show a boost for a rebirth since survivor is getting old, it will benefit the show as it can hold into its audience

  • Serene

    Elementary was the best choice for CBS. They always choose the shows they own or at least co-own (Criminal Minds). They want to make Elementary a bigger hit and get it to syndication. So it was logical to choose their new drama to air after SB.

    While TBBT, 2BG and POI get better ratings they arent CBS production and they wont get any money from syndication for any of those shows.

  • K


    How so? Elementary has a fine cast led by Lucy Liu and Johnny Lee Miller. It is a great show, much better than H50.

© 2015 Tribune Digital Ventures