The Most and Least Watched Post-Super Bowl TV Shows: ‘World’s Best,’ ‘Friends,’ ‘Glee,’ ‘This Is Us’

TheWrap crunches 32 years of data for the coveted time slot after the big game

Last Updated: February 4, 2019 @ 12:08 PM

Season in and season out, the Super Bowl is the most-watched broadcast across all of television for the calendar year. So when the New England Patriots raised the Lombardi Trophy Sunday night, CBS was celebrating right along with the winning 53-man roster — though not as hard as networks who have aired the big game recently partied, as Monday morning Super Bowl LIII posted the lowest early ratings for the event in the last 10 years.

Immediately after that, it was the “The World’s Best’s” turn to pop the champagne thanks to some ostentatious Nielsen numbers. Like the game before it, the numbers for the show’s debut were not that impressive compared to the other TV shows that have aired in the coveted post-game slot over the last 32 years.

Starting after the game at 10:36 p.m., the James Corden-hosted global competition series debuted to a 7.0 rating in the advertiser-coveted adults 18-49 demographic and 22.2 million viewers. That puts the premiere of “The World’s Best” at No. 26 on the list of most and least-watched post-Super Bowl TV shows, in terms of total viewers.

That is well behind last year’s special airing of “This Is Us” on NBC, which ranks 15th in overall sets of eyeballs with 27 million and doesn’t come anywhere close to touching the most-watched post-Super Bowl program of all time, which happened on NBC 23 years ago.

On Jan. 28, 1996, “Friends” scored a monstrous 52.9 million viewers after the big game; hauling in a 28.2 rating in the advertiser-sought 18-49 demographic. That dwarfs the second-place finisher, CBS’s “Survivor” from 2001, which earned 45.4 million viewers and a 21.8 rating. Those two are the only shows since 1988 (from which reliable records are readily available) to best the massive 40-million-plus viewer mark or a gaudy 20-plus rating.

In third place is 2010’s “Undercover Boss,” besting 2006’s “Grey’s Anatomy” and 2012’s “The Voice” in total viewers, but not in the key demo rating.

At the bottom of the pile is 2003’s “Alias,” which got 17.4 million total viewers and an 8.2 demo rating. Up one spot is 2017’s “24: Legacy,” which had more total viewers (17.6 million) but the lowest demo rating on our list (6.1).

Rounding out the Bottom 5 are “The Late Show” (2016), “Elementary” (2013) and “Malcolm in the Middle” (2002).

See TheWrap‘s list of the 32 Most and Least Watched Post-Super Bowl TV Shows:

Most Watched Post Super Bowl shows

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