‘Young Rock’ Had the Largest Digital Launch of Any NBC Comedy Ever (Exclusive)

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson sitcom boasts the most multigenerational viewing of any broadcast comedy this season

Young Rock
Photo by: Mark Taylor/NBC

Streaming viewers smell what “Young Rock” is cooking. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s new sitcom debuted to the largest digital audience of any NBC comedy ever, TheWrap has learned.

NBC executives are no jabronies.

At this point, “Young Rock’s” Feb. 16, 2021 series premiere (and its encores) has amassed a 3.4 rating in the adults 18-49 demographic and 11.8 million total viewers. Since those numbers include digital platforms — Hulu, the NBC app and Peacock — we really can’t compare them to programming on another network. But we can tell you that using NBC’s in-house data, multiplatform ratings for the “Young Rock” debut are lower than only the network’s “This Is Us” season premiere last fall.

We can also look at “Young Rock’s” growth. The series premiere drew a 1.0 rating in “live” TV viewing. With three days of delayed viewing, that linear-only number grew to a 1.4. Then add another 0.7, or another one-third of the overall viewing, from digital alone during the same 72-hour time period.

Nielsen does not measure proprietary digital offerings. The TV ratings currency company does not yet measure Peacock viewing and its Hulu data should still be considered in the infancy stages.

“Young Rock” is also the most “multigenerational” comedy of the 2020-21 season, according to NBC research, meaning more 50-year-olds watched the series premiere with a minor (under 18) than any other sitcom on broadcast television. If bringing the family unit back together isn’t presidential, we don’t know what is.

We’ve got another interesting tidbit about the comedy, which sees Johnson telling his life story during a 2032 presidential run. USA Network’s Monday, Feb. 22 encore of NBC’s “Young Rock” premiere, immediately following WWE’s flagship wrestling program “Raw,” was the highest-rated (in 18-49) post-WWE telecast in nearly a year.

That means a six-days-later rerun of a series that already aired for free on broadcast television drew better ratings in the key demo for entertainment programming than a whole bunch of original episodes for other shows. USA Network tends to slot WWE-adjacent programming following “Monday Night Raw” — like “Stone Cold” Steve Austin’s “Straight Up Steve Austin” — but the “Young Rock” repeat left a pandemic’s worth of regularly scheduled stuff pinned to the canvas.

“Young Rock” airs Tuesdays at 8/7c on NBC. The series is on a brief hiatus until March 16.


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