Updated: Bad News for 'Elementary' As Super Bowl Power Outage Delays Game ~34 Minutes

Categories: Broadcast TV

Written By

February 3rd, 2013


Update 2: Elementary began at 11:11p ET - that's 10 minutes later than 2003's Alias which started at 11:01p and averaged the fewest viewers (17.4 million) for the post Super Bowl slot since the 1970s.  Last year The Voice begain at 10:19p.  Here are the post Super Bowl start and end times since 2003:

THE VOICE- 2/5/12 NBC 10:19 PM 11:21 PM
GLEE- 2/6/11 FOX 10:39 PM 11:45 PM
UNDERCOVER BOSS-02/07/2010 CBS 10:13 PM 11:13 PM
OFFICE 2/1-02/01/2009 NBC 10:40 PM 11:40 PM
HOUSE SP-2/3-02/03/2008 FOX 10:38 PM 11:38 PM
CRIMINAL MINDS-SUPER BOWL-02/04/2007 CBS 10:26 PM 11:27 PM
GREY'S ANATOMY-02/05/2006 ABC 10:27 PM 11:28 PM
SIMPSONS-02/06/2005 FOX 10:44 PM 11:16 PM
SURVIVOR: ALL-STARS PREM-02/01/2004 CBS 10:52 PM 11:58 PM
ALIAS SPECIAL-1/26-01/26/2003 ABC 11:01 PM 12:01 AM


CBS Sports' official statement on the power outage.


Update: The 49ers comeback fell short and despite failing at the opportunity to take the lead with less than two minutes remaining, it was a helluva ball game post power outage. Even with Elementary pushed completely out of primetime things could've been much worse for CBS.


Bad news for Elementary fans, but great news for Fan Excuse Bingo players. With the Baltimore Ravens up by a lopsided score of 28-6 with 13:22 still left in the third quarter, a power surge knocked power out in the New Orleans's Super Dome, delaying the game ~34 minutes. While in the short term, I'm not sure the power outage wasn't good news for CBS (at least for me, the freakish technical difficulties during our nation's biggest sporting event were more interesting than the game itself), it definitely has the downside for the post-Super Bowl airing of Elementary which will start ~34 minutes later as a result.

Barring a tremendous comeback from the San Francisco 49ers, it's a-worst-of-all-worlds nightmare for CBS (and 2nd half Super Bowl advertisers) -- a lopsided game, with Elementary perhaps not starting until after primetime.

  • jimtv

    If it wasn’t a power outage, it would be the absurdly long post game show. Elementary never had a chance of airing at 10pm ET.

  • John

    Sitcoms and reality shows are a better fit for the post Super Bowl slot anyway. By that time of night (and after imbibing large amounts of alcoholic beverages) people don’t have the energy or attention span for an hourlong procedural drama.

  • Mon

    Bad news for Elementary but I guess a really good news for CBS because the 10pm hour would now rate much higher than what Elementary would have gotten.

  • The End

    Any new Nielsen viewers for Elementary is a GOOD thing. Even if it starts late. These aren’t individual viewers being tracked here, just the Nielsen households. If Elementary can get some on its side it’l do well.

    Certainly if it can get a boost to 14-15 million on average a decent upstick in the 18-49 for the remaining non Superbowl eps, I’ld say the slot has done it well.

    Still think this post Superbowl ep will do alright, won’t do amazing. Superbowl almost over too.

  • The Rookie

    Its over! 10:35 pm + time to burn off clock, how long is the Postgame show?

  • Douglas from Brazil

    LOL.This what happened when you take the old timeslot from The Mentalist(on thursdays)


  • LisaNeedsBraces

    I was just coming here to update my ratings predictions for both Elementary and the SB. I originally thought Elementary would do middling at around 25 million but now it will be considered lucky if it doesn’t beat Alias as the lowest post slot of all time.

    That would be enough to put Elementary back on my bubble list. Despite it’s regular ratings being okay at around 2.2, which should be enough to theoretically get it renewed, if it gets the lowest post slot rating ever, the bad PR of that combined with the blow of being beat by Scandal week by week could get it cancelled. Nina Tassler has been fuming ever since NBC usurped CBS as the #1 network in the demo this season and Elementary, if it fumbles all its advantages, will be a nice big target for her rage. Among the network heads, Tassler is the one who arguably hates losing the most.

    As for the game, I don’t know if the 49ers showing up in the second half will be enough. In addition to the outage, there are several other things going against it: two unpopular teams, unseasonably warm weather in most of the country, and the blow out in the first half followed by the power outage making it an extra long game.

  • The Rookie

    Guys, did not watch network TV last week, but have promos for Elementary seem engaging/interesting? Will they influence people to go to sleep later than planned to sample the show?

  • The End

    Victory to the Ravens.

  • Holly


    There is no way CBS makes any decisions based on post-Superbowl performance entirely outside of primetime.

  • LisaNeedsBraces

    @The Rookie

    I think the post-game show usually lasts between 10-15 minutes, usually whatever time is left in the hour.

    Will they influence people to go to sleep later than planned to sample the show?

    I have a hard time believing that most people, after a long game, will be willing to stay up to invest another hour of their time in a crime procedural that doesn’t even have any name guest stars or similar gimmick to draw them in. In the Alias year, promos were all about showing Jennifer Garner dressed in lingerie, with a whip, lots of fights and blowing stuff up. And that wasn’t enough to get the game audience to stick around through an extra 15 minutes of postgame. Most people have work in the morning and on the East Coast, sticking around to watch Elementary would now mean getting to bed at midnight.

  • a p garcia

    great majority of the super bowl ads were not funny.

  • Oliver

    The latest starting Super Bowl lead-out ever. Close game might help it a little, though.

  • The End

    ‘When God is for you, who can be against you?’ – Ray Lewis from the Ravens

    I liked that line.

  • TiredMomma

    I’m only watching CBS at this hour to catch Elementary. I’m really glad that I didn’t just trust my DVR to record it. Hopefully, it’ll start soon, and I can record it and go to bed…the baby will need to eat at 3 AM. There was a power outage? Who won? Can’t they just switch to a sports network now?

  • New England Mike

    Another reason why a 30-minute sitcom is a better option for a post Super Bowl slot.

  • Samunto

    It’s all Beyonce’s fault. She attempted to sing live and see what happened?!…..

  • The End


    Lol, noticed when looking at the Elementary hashtag on twitter, a lot of women complaining about the Superbowl coverage not being over yet because they want to watch Elementary.

  • New England Mike

    Wow, that was a short post game!

  • LisaNeedsBraces


    Notice I didn’t factor in only the post-SB performance, but also the fact that, in Thursday primetime, Elementary is the only CBS show that loses its timeslot to another network and the only show in the lineup that hasn’t seen its ratings go up. In a better year for CBS, one or even both of those things might allow it to slide, but CBS has been burned and is not feeling generous this year. If tomorrow’s ratings turn it into a punchline, how much network support do you think it’s going to have? It already has CBS’ best 9 pm timeslot and its best lead-in, if it fumbles this too CBS has nothing left in the arsenal to get it new viewers, and could write it off as a lost cause completely.

    It’s all theory at this point, but trust that stranger things have happened.

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