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.

  • r0ckmypants

    @Amy – Eli Stone had two seasons. Smith was his only true failure, and he wasn’t the lead.

    @Everyone – What do you have against Elementary? Does it personally harm you in some way that it’s on the air? These kinds of posts happen every Friday when its ratings are announced. The only thing I can understand is CBS’s obnoxious touting of it as “TV’s #1 New Show,” which it’s not in any way now that The Following has come along (and considering Vegas had more viewers)… but that has nothing to do with the show itself. Elementary’s post-Super Bowl (or any other ratings) will have no effect on Person of Interest, Criminal Minds, CSI, NCIS, or whatever getting renewed; they’re all doing just fine. So what’s the deal? It got positive reviews from critics, it’s remained fairly steady in the ratings so the quality hasn’t deteriorated enough over time for viewers to jump ship… so what is it?

  • Anna


    Yeah, he had two failures: Smith and Eli Stone. I think Eli Stone made two seasons.

    I can’t see why Elementary won’t get renewed unless there’s a price tag issue? It does seem like CBS expected consistent high 2’s or low 3’s, which hasn’t happened, but given the network owns it, it should get a second season unless it drops below 2 between now and May.


    My guess is Elementary will be the lowest rated post Super Bowl spot. It already is verging on cancellation-type ratings, and doesn’t look appealing as The Voice, UnderCover Boss, and even Glee. So the late time, will most definatly put it in its post as lowest rated post SB show

  • TV Gord

    It’s even worse news for Craig Ferguson’s post-game special, which doesn’t air until 12:46am Eastern. Fortunately, at least it still airs at 11:35pm Pacific.

  • Anna


    People were really mad Elementary got POI’s timeslot. I don’t know why, it’s not as if POI is doing poorly.

  • Rob R

    Well we now know that the game was not lopsided at all and was tense until the last seconds. “Elementary” started at 11:11 Eastern and 8:11 Pacific. Not the worst thing in the world. As for myself, I began watching my playback of “Downton Abbey” immediately after the game ended around 10:52 Eastern.

  • Brenda

    Not a hater, but I will be interested in seeing the numbers for this show(Elementary) and subsequent eps because I’ve watched the ep tonight and found it to be very boring. I paused it a few times and just finished it cause I was bored and on the internet at the same time so just kept the tv on. Ive watched a couple other eps and those seemed better then this one?

    Oh well doesn’t matter cause Ill only catch this on demand or if Scandal is being repeated.

  • LisaNeedsBraces


    TVBTN is a site to talk about ratings. There are plenty of sites to debate about the quality of shows. Personally like a show isn’t going to make its ratings improve. Plenty of people here have been unable to face the ratings reality for shows they like, that’s why Fan Excuse Bingo was invented.

    I’ll be curious to see if PBS releases ratings for Downton Abbey. #downtonPBS is the only top ten trending hashtag on Twitter not related to the actual game all evening.

  • Oliver

    I wonder what Fox will put in the post-SB slot next season.

    New Girl seems the obvious choice, but its ratings might be a bit low. The Following is far too dark, and anything else is too old. Perhaps a freshman show? Family Guy and the premiere of Murder Police, maybe?

  • Patrick G.

    The blackout was freakish indeed. At first I thought terrorism might be the culprit and was expecting something bigger to occur; thankfully it didn’t, but it sure took long enough to get the lights back on. You would think the NFL would make sure the stadium chosen for the coveted Super Bowl would have power back-up. Obviously, the Super Dome doesn’t !! I found the blackout to be more entertaining than all of the first half. Thank God the second half was rousing, or this game would have been a boring rout. Still glad the Ravens won. They deserved it more than SF, which has won it enough !!

    @ Robert….your first picture was from a past game that they showed while they were talking about previous blackouts at other games. Easy mistake, but glad you changed the pic.

  • Harrison

    I expect the ratings to likely rank as the worst post-Superbowl showing ever. Show isn’t a hit to begin with, started very late, and apparently the episode doesn’t do a good job of enticing people to stick with the show for future episodes. Speaking of which, how did the episode begin?

  • CrimTV


    If I was an avid football watcher (which i’m not) Elementary would sound more appealing to me than shows like Glee and Grey’s Anatomy and they scored high as it is.

  • LisaNeedsBraces


    Glee actually did rather terrible in the post SB slot.

    Grey’s Anatomy came at a time when the show was getting a lot of buzz as the big new thing, and they were very smart in making it the first part of big two part episode arc with lots of action and a plot that it was easy for new viewers to get interested in. The bomb in the O.R. thing was a great hook that caused tension and made it easy to invest quickly in the characters. It was an episode that appealed to GA’s core audience of women but was also action oriented enough to appeal to male NFL viewers. Plus it ended on a cliffhanger, making it a talking point and it essential for viewers to seek out GA for the next episode, as opposed to other shows where the eps were standalones.

    That episode of Elementary was very boring. I struggled to finish it and I was watching on DVR. They aired a much better, faster paced episode about two weeks ago that would have been a better fit. This one was slow, talky, repetitive and leaned too heavily on a no-name guest star who was quite frankly boring. I can’t imagine a lot of people struggling through it near midnight without falling asleep. I didn’t see any talk about it on Twitter. If social media is any guide, the people who stayed up after the game either switched over to the news or rushed to watch Downton Abbey on DVR.

  • networkman

    In my opinion, Elementary is losing steam. I thought the show had potential when I first watched the premiere. But this show has become boring. Johnny Lee Miller is doing too much rambling. At times I wish they could cut down some of his dialogue. His character has lost its appeal. In my opinion, this show reminds me of Monk, trying to copy that aspect of dealing with a quirky detective. But it is focusing too much on him and Lucy and not much on the story itself. The cases are not intriguing.

    The first few minutes with the strippers were the most entertaining of the entire episode. CBS will still most likely keep the show to save face, but I really do think that The Mentalist would have been stronger in the Thursday 10pm timeslot this season over Elementary.

  • jake

    2 broke girls or POI would be a better fit for the post-game slot.
    I think it will get the worst ratings EVER.
    This is not HOUSE although CBS wanted it so bad.

  • Ben

    You Elementary haters are so pathetic, lol. As if CBS will axe their only successful new series because of a Super Bowl delay. Dream on.

  • Serial Rocker


    “My guess is some crazy/bitter Person of Interest fans who felt their show, which is doing just fine, got snubbed.”

    It’s a shame if that’s the case. I would hope, given that both shows have excellent writing and an incredible cast, that there would be a lot of audience crossover between the two, therefore eliminating the need to bicker about something as inconsequential as who gets the slot after the Super Bowl. Especially given that Person of Interest really doesn’t need any ratings help right now.

    That said, anyone who thinks that Elementary will be cancelled based on how it performed last night is as high as Sherlock ever was.

  • Serial Rocker


    “Plenty of people here have been unable to face the ratings reality for shows they like, that’s why Fan Excuse Bingo was invented.”

    On the flip side, it seems that plenty of people are equally unable to face up to the fact that a show they don’t like is doing perfectly well, ratings wise. Wouldn’t you say?

  • Dan B

    The hate for Elementary is baffling to me. Well, the hate for any TV is baffling to me. It’s a TV show. If you don’t like it, don’t watch it. I for one like the show very much.

    As for anyone saying this rare instance where it would get poor ratings doe to the late start time would have any effect on it getting renewed, you’re foolish.

  • Serial Rocker

    @Dan B

    Couldn’t agree more.

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