On Sunday, TV's biggest night is back. Many will be most curious about whether the Super Bowl can once again set a record for most-viewed event in the history of television. But for TV ratings junkies, the performance of the lead-out program is arguably more interesting. Successful lead-outs like Grey's Anatomy, Undercover Boss and The Voice have been launched to great heights by the exposure. For less-viewed lead-outs, the ad rates may be huge, but the long-term ratings needle doesn't move at all. Will Elementary be a super lead-out? That's The Question for Sunday, February 3, 2013.
|Elementary In Recent Weeks||Recent Super Bowl Lead-Outs|
|2.6 (Thursday 1/3/13, 3.3 Person of Interest) |
2.4 (Thursday 1/10/13, 3.3 PoI)
2.2 (Thursday 1/31/13, 3.2 PoI)
|16.5 (Grey's Anatomy, 2006, game 34.6) |
10.0 (Criminal Minds, 2007, game 35.2)
12.9 (House, 2008, game 37.5)
11.0 (The Office, 2009, game 36.7)
16.2 (Undercover Boss, 2010, game 38.8)
11.1 (Glee, 2011, game 39.9)
16.3 (The Voice, 2012, game 40.5)
First, there are the circumstances surrounding the game. I'm guessing this Bowl will end the most-viewed-event-ever streak, despite all the press that the "brother vs. brother" head coaching matchup has gotten. The NFL postseason has been down year-to-year throughout, and these quarterbacks are not particularly marquee names. I missed huge on the Hawaii Five-0 pick two weeks ago in part out of my own stupidity, but also in part because the game had been decided by the closing minutes and because CBS was in no real rush to get through the postgame show. The game getting out of hand late is hard to call, though the spread is fairly small (49ers by 4). And I would imagine Elementary will motivate CBS to breeze through the postgame a bit more than Hawaii Five-0 did.
Then there's Elementary itself. Being in the middle of its first season actually makes Elementary a pretty unique post-Super Bowl choice; most have either more of a track record or none at all. Maybe the touches of humor in Elementary will make it a better fit with the Bowl than Criminal Minds six years ago. But Elementary is certainly a much weaker show than most recent post-Bowl options.
While the lead-in will probably still be bigger than six years ago, I see Elementary coming in behind the Minds number. I do think it'll hold off the worst post-Bowl rating in at least the last quarter century, Alias in 2003 (8.3), if only because CBS won't let the post-game run as comically long as it did that year.
EDIT: No entries accepted after 6:00pm ET Super Bowl Sunday. If editing your pick, please leave a separate comment.