The Most and Least Watched Post-Super Bowl TV Shows: ‘The Masked Singer,’ ‘Survivor,’ ‘This Is Us’

TheWrap crunches 33 years of data for the most-coveted time slot on all of television

Last Updated: February 3, 2020 @ 12:22 PM

Season in and season out, the Super Bowl is the most-watched broadcast across all of television for the calendar year. That means it’s also the best lead-in of the year — like “The Masked Singer” on Fox needed the help.

Either way, the oddball singing competition got some, to the tune of an 8.1 rating in the key demo and 23.7 million total viewers. Those Nielsen numbers were even larger than last year, when “The World’s Best” on CBS debut to a 7.0 rating and 22.2 million viewers. That placed the launch of the James Corden-hosted competition at No. 26 on the list of most and least-watched post-Super Bowl TV shows, in terms of total viewers.

Now behind “The Masked Singer” Season 3 premiere, “The World’s Best” is 27th.

Both rank well behind 2018’s special airing of “This Is Us” on NBC, which is 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’ “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 33 Most and Least Watched Post-Super Bowl TV Shows below:

Most-Watched Post-Super Bowl shows