Sunday night’s Super Bowl XLVIII may have been a disaster for Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos, but not for Zooey Deschanel or Andy Samberg.
Fox aired new episodes of “New Girl” and “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” after the game to win new fans for the sitcoms and, as expected, plenty of viewers stuck around after the 43-8 rout of the Broncos by the Seattle Seahawks.
The Prince-featuring episode of “New Girl” drew an average of 25.8 million viewers, according to Nielsen, followed by 14.8 million for the surprise double Golden Globe winner “Brooklyn Nine-Nine.”
In the advertiser-desired 18-49 demographic, “New Girl” scored a rating of 11.1. That’s significantly better than the number for CBS’ Sherlock Holmes drama “Elementary” last year after the big game, but keep in mind that “Elementary” started significantly later.
Overall viewership for Sunday night’s “New Girl” was 23% higher than “Elementary."
Still, “New Girl” didn’t manage to top the post-game episode of “Glee” in 2011, the last time Fox carried the Super Bowl. That outing for the musical series averaged about 26.8 million viewers and drew a rating of 11.2 in the key 18-49 age group.
Accurate ratings for the Super Bowl won’t be released until later Monday, but it looks like it will be down from last year’s 108.7 million viewers.
Other major networks posted year-over-year gains against Sunday’s big match-up.
About 2.36 million people watched NBC Sunday night (up 34% compared with last year’s game) and ABC had 2.7 million (up 35%).
The last time a sitcom followed the Super Bowl was five years ago, when NBC aired “The Office.” That drew 22.9 million viewers.
[For the record: An earlier version of this post stated that “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” was a double-Emmy winner. It actually won two Golden Globes.]
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