The second “South Park” pandemic special didn’t fare quite as well as last year’s, but it still managed to notch cable’s top rating among young adults in 2021.
The hour-long “Vaccination Special” drew a 1.37 rating among adults 18-34 and averaged 1.74 million viewers, according to Nielsen’s live-plus-same-day measurement. Both of those figures were down from the “Pandemic Special” that aired last September, which hit a seven-year ratings high for the longrunning animated series.
Wednesday’s episode, which is currently available to stream on HBO Max, was still “South Park’s” second best performance since 2017.
The episode was simulcast on far fewer ViacomCBS networks compared to last year’s “Pandemic Special,” which was carried on MTV, VH1, CMT, Paramount Network, TV Land and Pop TV. Wednesday’s “Vaccination Special” was only simulcast on MTV2. The “Pandemic Special” drew 4.05 million viewers across all its networks, while “Vaccination” averaged a still-impressive 3.47 million viewers.
The “Vaccination Special” featured Mr. Garrison’s return to his old self (now that Donald Trump is out of office) as he helps the town get their COVID-19 vaccination shots. Additionally, the episode spent much of its time poking fun at QAnon conspiracy theories.
Like the previous special, the “Vaccination Special” is not considered part of “South Park’s” upcoming 24th season, which will (hopefully) premiere later this year. The series, from creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker, is currently renewed through Season 26.