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.

  • Oliver

    Elementary began at 11:11.

  • DonJ1973

    11:11pm ET

    I can’t imagine the ratings will be very good. East coast audiences are probably getting ready to hit the sack after an almost 5 hour broadcast.

  • The End


    That it does. Now let’s see how well it performs, at this point anything close to 20 million would be decent considering the time. Expecting less though.

  • TiredMomma

    @The End

    Well…my husband didn’t look up from his work until Elementary came on. Coulda been the half-naked women.

  • DonJ1973

    I have a feeling this will be the lowest post-Super Bowl performance ever.

  • Holly


    I’m saying these ratings will have NO affect whatsoever on CBS’s thinking. I also don’t think they’re nearly as upset about its regular ratings as you apparently do. No one’s getting fired for greenlighting the show.

  • DonJ1973

    I just finished watching the game and I’m exhausted and I live on the West coast. I can’t imagine how East coast audiences feel. And how about those who didn’t pad an extra 1 hour 15 minutes on their DVR. They will get the last hour of the game/postgame.

  • Ben

    Thank goodness for the loss of power if it helped prevent a blow-out game, which is were it was headed when the power went out.
    Elementary will air at 11:10 PM following a game which wound up being close after all.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    updated the post to include Elementary’s start time (11:11p ET) and also included post-Super Bowl show start & end times since 2003 (that’s all I had handy).

  • Oliver

    …and, having caught the first few mintues of Elementary, I feel justified in my previous opinion that Elementary was the wrong sort of lead-out show.

  • LisaNeedsBraces


    You obviously weren’t at Nina Tassler’s winter TCA presentation. Steam was practically coming out of her ears at the fact that NBC was now #1 in the demo. That’s despite the fact that CBS had legit things to celebrate, like TBBT overtaking Modern Family as the #1 show in 18-49 or the Super Bowl. You must be unfamiliar with network executives if you think they’re content with being in second place or handing out gold stars for nice tries, or that they like breaking records for the lowest rated ANYTHING.

    Who said anything about getting fired? Just cancellation.

  • DonJ1973

    I think CBS should have aired Person of Interest. At least it’s a kickass action drama that fits the male/female demographic that watched the game.

    Elementary is a quirky crime procedural with IMO a very select audience. Seems like tonight’s episode is nothing special either.

    I guess CBS chose Elementary since it’s an in-house production.

  • Mark

    I’m still watching. Had a “beer nap” before the game. Will be up for a while….lol

  • Petar Ivanov

    CBS make big time mistake when they pass on their BEST scripted and acted crime show POI. Much more unique, creative and entertaining with a lot of humour! In Europe with sites for download its HARD to find any neggative comments for POI. And in Europe a lot of people are very critic to USA shows and production like all. Most europeans feel more clever and smart than usa viewers etc.

  • Petar Ivanov

    ps If CBS WASTE AFC championship and super bowl slots in one year they DESERVE to lose #1 spot next season. I think both games are for fox next season.

    By the way it look like their pilots after season with hit shows like 2BG and POI cbs has disaster season with almost all bad new shows. Or all bad will see.

  • Brandon

    Quite a lot of vitriol for Elementary in the thread.

    I don’t watch the show, but if anyone thinks its performance tonight will get it cancelled, you’re insane. Elementary will be renewed for a second season.

  • matt

    I think Elementary will get a bigger bounce then most expect. I don’t it would have gotten that much numbers the way the game was going. But being how close it got, more viewers likely tuned back in, so bigger chance for high ratings

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    Quite a lot of vitriol for Elementary in the thread.

    Indeed. My guess is some crazy/bitter Person of Interest fans who felt their show, which is doing just fine, got snubbed. They should instead be thankful that POI avoided the opportunity of possibly being the least-viewed post-Super Bowl show ever!

  • Amy

    I’m just surprised Elementary is still on. Johnny Lee Miller is usually a show killer.

  • Amy

    @Douglas from Brazil

    You are an idiot. Elementary won’t be canceled, and you’re dumb enough to blame a show of taking another show’s time slot. Television shows don’t have free will. Go back to elementary school.

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