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‘Family Matters’ Viewership Soared Nearly 400% in 2020

Viewers consumed more than 11 billion minutes of ’90s show last year

2020 sucked, but at least we had the ’90s sitcom “Family Matters.”

The former T.G.I.F. sitcom, which aired on ABC from 1989-1998, saw a massive uptick in minutes watched last year, according to a Nielsen study. All told, “Family Matters,” was watched for nearly 11.4 billion minutes, up a whopping 392% from 2019’s tally of 2.3 billion minutes.

Yes, we did that. (Shoutout to you Urkel fans.)

That viewership, like all in this story, includes everyone age 2 or older — a giant demo generally referred to as “total viewers.”

“Family Matters,” which features an all-Black cast, follows the Winslow family as they deal with various misadventures, many of them caused by their pesky next-door neighbor, ultra-nerd Steve Urkel (Jaleel White).

The show also starred Reginald VelJohnson, Kellie Shanygne Williams, Darius McCrary, Jo Marie Payton and Rosetta LeNoire. “Family Matters” ran for 215 episodes. More episodes means more opportunity for racking up big viewership minutes.

Nostalgic comedy made for some gigantic tune-in last year.

“Friends” was watched for nearly 97 billion minutes, +30% from 2019, according to Nielsen. “The Andy Griffith Show” was watched for more than 58 billion minutes (+29% from 2019) and “Roseanne” was consumed for more than 20 billion minutes, up 70% from the prior year.

Also crossing 10 billion minutes viewed in 2020 was “George Lopez.” “I Love Lucy” came fairly close to that threshold with more than 9.3 billion minutes watched.

“The Office,” a more contemporary comedy, was watched for more than 87 billion minutes, per Nielsen. Of those, 57 billion minutes come from Netflix viewing and 30 billion from traditional TV viewing.

Nielsen says that, all told, nostalgia comedies combined for more than 234 billion viewing minutes throughout the year. And those are just the oldies: 1.3 trillion minutes of comedy was consumed across national TV last year. Read Nielsen’s full report here.

“Family Matters” can currently be found in syndication on TBS. It is streaming on Hulu.