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'This Is Us' scores as NBC's most-watched scripted show since 'ER' on night of 'Friends' finale

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Mon, Feb 5th 2018 08:55 pm
`This Is Us` `Super Bowl Sunday`: Mandy Moore as Rebecca. (NBC photo by Ron Batzdorff)
"This Is Us" "Super Bowl Sunday": Mandy Moore as Rebecca. (NBC photo by Ron Batzdorff)
Top drama on any net in 10 years
At 27 million viewers, 'This Is Us' most-watched post-Super Bowl telecast in 6 years, jumping 9.4 million viewers vs. the year-ago post-Super Bowl drama '24: Legacy'
Sunday's special post-Super Bowl telecast of "This Is Us" has scored as NBC's most-watched scripted show in more than 13 years, since "ER" the night of the "Friends" finale, while also ranking as the most-watched drama on any network in 10 years, since the 2008 post-Super Bowl episode of "House."
With an average 27.0 million viewers, it's the most-watched post-Super Bowl telecast in six years, since "The Voice" in 2012.
And at 12:24 a.m. ET, a special post-Super Bowl edition of "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon" delivered 8.4 million viewers, a gain of 5.8 million persons versus the show's season average, making this Fallon's fourth-most-watched "Tonight Show" ever.
NBC's 10:45-11:49 p.m. post-Super Bowl telecast of "This Is Us" averaged 26.976 million viewers overall and a 9.3 rating in adults 18-49, according to "fast official" ratings from Nielsen Media Research, setting series records in both measures and delivering the best non-sports results for any network since last February's Academy Awards.
"This Is Us" surged 9.4 million persons, or 53 percent, above last year's post-Super Bowl drama telecast in total viewers (26.976 million vs. 17.576 million on Feb. 5, 2017, from 11 p.m.-12:01 a.m. for FOX's premiere of "24: Legacy"), and 52 percent in adults 18-49 (9.3 vs. 6.1).
The last post-Super Bowl entertainment telecast to deliver a bigger overall audience was NBC's Feb. 5, 2012, edition of "The Voice," which averaged 37.611 million.
It's the most-watched scripted show on NBC since the May 6, 2004, telecast of "ER" (28.4 million), which followed the "Friends" finale. In 18-49, it's NBC's top-rated scripted series in nine years (since the post-Super Bowl episode of "The Office," 11.0 on Feb. 1, 2009) and top-rated drama in more than 13 years (since "ER" on Nov. 11, 2004, 9.4).
It's the most-watched drama on any network since the Feb. 3, 2008, post-Super Bowl telecast of FOX's "House" (29.1 million).
Sunday night's "This Is Us" beat the show's prior series record in total viewers by 14.0 million persons, or 109 percent (26.976 million vs. 12.938 million for the show's second season premiere on Sept. 26, 2017, "live plus same day"), and topped its previous record in adult 18-49 rating by 138 percent  (9.3 vs. 3.9 on Sept. 26, 2017).
Versus the show's season averages, "This Is Us" is up 16.7 million persons, or 162 percent, in total viewers (26.976 vs. 10.299 million), and 232 percent in 18-49 (9.3 vs. 2.8).
Note: "This Is Us" will increase its viewership dramatically through DVR time-shifting and VOD. The show's prior telecast in its regular timeslot on Jan. 23 scored NBC's biggest lifts in measurement history going from "live plus same day" to "live plus seven day" Nielsens in both total viewers and adults 18-49. It was also the biggest 18-49 L+7 increase on any broadcast network in more than two years.
The Jan. 23 episode grew by 7.099 million viewers overall (9.480 million to 16.579 million) and+2.62 rating points, or 102 percent, in adults 18-49 (from a 2.57 to a 5.19), going from L+SD to L+7. The increase of 2.62 rating points is the biggest L+7 lift for any show on any broadcast network since December 2015 ("The Big Bang Theory," 2.83 on Thursday, Dec. 17, 2015).
The 12:24-1:35 a.m. post-Super Bowl edition of "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon" delivered 8.405 million viewers overall and a 2.61 rating in adults 18-49, according to "fast official" ratings from Nielsen Media Research, soaring 5.8 million persons, or 224 percent, above the show's season average in total viewers (8.405 million vs. 2.596 million), and 308 percent in adults 18-49 (2.61 vs. 0.64).
"Tonight" jumped 3.5 million persons, or 70 percent, versus the most recent post- Super Bowl late-night telecast in total viewers (8.405 million vs. 4.934 million viewers overall for "The Late Late Show with James Corden" on Feb. 7, 2016), and 50 percent in 18-49 (2.61 vs. 1.74).
It's the fourth-most-watched telecast ever of "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon," behind only two episodes during the show's premiere week of post-Olympic telecasts, Feb. 17 and 21, 2014, and the prior post-Super Bowl edition in 2015. In 18-49, it's the fifth-highest-rated episode, behind three premiere-week programs from February 2014 and the 2015 post-Super Bowl telecast.
NBC also saw strong results from the late news after the Eagles-Patriots game on its local stations, with those stations up 7 percent in metered-market households versus their ratings from three years ago, the last time NBC carried the Super Bowl (with an average 9.5 rating last night versus an 8.9 on Feb. 1, 2015, in the 56 markets metered by Nielsen). In the key news demo of adults 25-54, NBC stations were up 15 percent in the 25 markets with local people meters (6.1 vs. 5.3).

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