List of Super Bowl lead-out programs
The Super Bowl is the annual championship game of the National Football League (NFL), and typically the highest-rated single U.S. television broadcast of any given year. In turn, the program aired immediately following coverage of the game in the U.S. is typically also one of the year's most watched television programs. Super Bowl lead-out programs set the mold for programs that have followed important television events, such as season finales of certain shows. This article is a list of programs which have aired immediately following the Super Bowl.
The Super Bowl provides an extremely strong lead-in to the programming on the channel following the game, the effects of which can last for several hours. For instance, in discussing the ratings of a local TV station, Buffalo, New York television critic Alan Pergament noted on the coattails from Super Bowl XLVII, which aired on CBS: "A paid program that ran on Channel 4 at 2:30 in the morning had a 1.3 rating. That’s higher than some CW prime time shows get on WNLO-TV, Channel 4’s sister station."
The Super Bowl lead-out is typically aired across most U.S. markets simultaneously, and is usually one hour in length, although before the game adopted its standard kickoff time of just after 6:00 p.m. ET in the early 1990s, it was not uncommon for longer programs to be broadcast. When the game moved into a later time slot in 1983, the game and its associated post-game programming would be scheduled until 10:00 p.m. Eastern Time / 7:00 p.m. Pacific Time, allowing for only one hour of network programming until the late local news. Outside of the few blowout games through the game's history, these programs never have started anywhere near the mentioned time, due to the extended length of the pre-game, halftime, and post-game festivities. It is common for affiliates in the home markets of the competing teams to delay the lead-out show further, until after additional local post-game coverage. In addition, stations often use the large audience in order to introduce a re-imaging of the station's local newscasts and station's look, with many stations in the late 2000s and early 2010s using the game to launch their high definition news operations.
In 1979, 1999, and 2010, and largely from the mid-1980s through the mid-1990s, this slot was used to showcase a new series or movie, such as The A-Team or The Wonder Years, or broadcast a special episode of an "up-and-coming" series. However, many of the series were ultimately unsuccessful, with some being canceled within a matter of weeks. Since then, virtually all of the programs in the post-game timeslot have been special episodes of series that had already aired for at least one season.
The most recent Super Bowl lead-out program to have also been a series premiere is Undercover Boss, which was launched following Super Bowl XLIV on CBS (which also attracted the largest peak half-hour viewership of any Super Bowl lead-out program to date with 75.474 million viewers by the February 2010 debut telecast). Three other series have had their season premieres following the Super Bowl: two editions of Survivor, the Australian and all-star series (which followed Super Bowls XXXV and XXXVIII), which aired on CBS, and The Voice, which launched its second season following Super Bowl XLVI on NBC.
Although Fox almost never programs time slots after 10:00 p.m. except on Saturdays (instead encouraging its affiliates to air local news in the slot), Fox has aired lead-out programming after the Super Bowl ever since it began airing the game in 1997, which normally preempts local newscasts. The Fox affiliates in the market of the winning team do not necessarily have to do this (an example is Fox flagship WNYW, which aired a post-Super Bowl news broadcast following Super Bowl XLII and delayed the start of the House episode that was Fox's lead-out program until the newscast's conclusion).
Currently, a regular-length episode of a drama series will usually air, although in some cases a one-hour episode of a sitcom (normally 30 minutes in length), or two episodes of different sitcoms paired together, may air instead. Quite often the selected series is one of the "prestige" shows for the network showing the game that year, or a moderate hit (e.g. The X-Files on Fox, Criminal Minds on CBS, or Grey's Anatomy on ABC), which the network wants to give a higher profile. The Simpsons has aired in the slot twice, with both airings being paired with the premieres of animated sitcoms (Family Guy in 1999 and American Dad! in 2005). An occasional practice used to maximize the effect of the lead-out is to make the Super Bowl episode a cliffhanger, with a story that concludes later in the week in the program's regularly scheduled timeslot.
Because the Super Bowl is on a Sunday, before the mid-2000s, networks never carried a new episode of their weeknight late night talk shows after the game, lead-out program and local news. However this has changed since then, usually after the late local news, in order to give those programs an additional promotional push to those shows rarely found on American television and to introduce the current generation of hosts more willing to promote their series on more than a traditional Monday-to-Friday schedule. This was first done with the live premiere episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live after Super Bowl XXXVII in 2003, followed by Late Night with Jimmy Fallon in 2012 after Super Bowl XLVI, finishing a week of shows recorded from Indianapolis, and in 2013, a special episode of The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson from New Orleans after Super Bowl XLVII. In 2015, Jimmy Fallon had another new episode after Super Bowl XLIX from Phoenix, this time as the host of the The Tonight Show. In 2016 for Super Bowl 50, a special live episode of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert premiered directly after the game rather than a primetime series episode. The Late Late Show with James Corden also aired a special edition after local newscasts.
The most common lead-out program is the news magazine 60 Minutes, which has aired after four Super Bowls (VI, XIV, XVI, XXVI). Two other series have followed the big game three times—Lassie (I, II, IV) and The Wonderful World of Disney (I, VII, XI). Two more series have appeared in the time slot twice—The Simpsons (XXXIII, XXXIX) and Survivor (XXXV, XXXVIII)
List of lead-out programs
|Date||Super Bowl||Network||Program||Episode|| U.S. viewers
|January 15, 1967||I||CBS||Lassie||"Lassie's Litter Bit"|| &
|NBC||Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color||"Willie and the Yank: The Mosby Raiders" (Part II)|| &
|January 14, 1968||II||CBS||Local programming, then
|"The Foundling"|| &
|January 12, 1969||III||NBC||G.E. College Bowl|| &
|January 11, 1970||IV||CBS||Lassie||"The Road Back"||34%|
|January 17, 1971||V||NBC||Bing Crosby National Pro-Am golf tournament||36%|
|January 16, 1972||VI||CBS||60 Minutes||36%|
|January 14, 1973||VII||NBC||The Wonderful World of Disney||"The Mystery in Dracula's Castle"||44%|
|January 13, 1974||VIII||CBS||Local programming, then
The New Perry Mason
|"The Case of the Tortured Titan"||15.058||20%|
|January 12, 1975||IX||NBC||NBC Nightly News||15.924||28%|
|January 18, 1976||X||CBS||Phoenix Open golf tournament||22.363||31%|
|January 9, 1977||XI||NBC||The Big Event||Raid on Entebbe||42.816||37%|
|January 15, 1978||XII||CBS||All in the Family||"Archie and the Super Bowl"||35.472||47%|
|January 21, 1979||XIII||NBC||Brothers and Sisters||"Pilot"||31.722||32%|
|January 20, 1980||XIV||CBS||60 Minutes||40.746||50%|
|January 25, 1981||XV||NBC||CHiPs||"11-99: Officer Needs Help" (originally aired January 18, 1981)||26%|
|January 24, 1982||XVI||CBS||60 Minutes||36%|
|January 30, 1983||XVII||NBC||The A-Team||"Children of Jamestown" (first regular episode)||21.910||39%|
|January 22, 1984||XVIII||CBS||Airwolf||"Shadow of the Hawke" (two-hour pilot)||27.874||36%|
|January 20, 1985||XIX||ABC||MacGruder and Loud||"Pilot"||38%|
|January 26, 1986||XX||NBC||The Last Precinct||"The Last Precinct" (pilot)||39.729||25%|
|January 25, 1987||XXI||CBS||Hard Copy||"Pilot"||33%|
|January 31, 1988||XXII||ABC||The Wonder Years||"Pilot"||28.976||31%|
|January 22, 1989||XXIII||NBC||The Brotherhood of the Rose||Television film (part 1; two hours)||36%|
|January 28, 1990||XXIV||CBS||Grand Slam||"Pilot"||30.765||30%|
|January 27, 1991||XXV||ABC||Davis Rules||"A Man for All Reasons" (pilot)||26.695||25%|
|January 26, 1992||XXVI||CBS||60 Minutes
|60 Minutes was an abbreviated 13-minute edition and was apparently a last-minute addition to the schedule, consisting of an interview of Bill and Hillary Clinton addressing the Gennifer Flowers affair.
The length (i.e., 47 or 60 minutes) of the edition of 48 Hours which followed is not clear.
|January 31, 1993||XXVII||NBC||Homicide: Life on the Street||"Gone for Goode" (Pilot)||28.121||31%|
|January 30, 1994||XXVIII||NBC||The Good Life||"Pilot"||23.012||22%|
|The John Larroquette Show||"Eggs"||17.708||22%|
|January 29, 1995||XXIX||ABC||Extreme||"Pilot"||22.594||25%|
|January 28, 1996||XXX||NBC||Friends||"The One After the Superbowl" (Parts 1 and 2)||52.925||46%|
|January 26, 1997||XXXI||Fox||The X-Files||"Leonard Betts"||29.098||29%|
|January 25, 1998||XXXII||NBC||3rd Rock from the Sun||"36! 24! 36! Dick" (Parts 1 and 2)||33.662||34%|
|January 31, 1999||XXXIII||Fox|| Family Guy
| "Death Has a Shadow" (Pilot)
"Sunday, Cruddy Sunday"
|January 30, 2000||XXXIV||ABC||The Practice at 10:18 p.m. ET||"New Evidence" (Part 1)||23.847||27%|
|January 28, 2001||XXXV||CBS||Survivor: The Australian Outback at 10:19 p.m. ET||"Stranded" (season premiere)||45.369||39%|
|February 3, 2002||XXXVI||Fox||Malcolm in the Middle at 10:38 p.m. ET||"Company Picnic" (Parts 1 and 2)||21.445||21%|
|January 26, 2003||XXXVII||ABC|| Alias at 11:15 p.m. ET
Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 12:35 a.m. ET
| "Phase One"
Premiere episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live!
ABC aired a post-game Bon Jovi performance before Alias, leading to lower ratings.
|February 1, 2004||XXXVIII||CBS||Survivor: All-Stars at 10:58 p.m. – 12:06 a.m. ET||"They're Back!" (season premiere)||33.535||32%|
|February 6, 2005||XXXIX||Fox|| The Simpsons at 10:45–11:17 p.m. ET
American Dad! at 11:18–11:55 p.m. ET
|"Homer and Ned's Hail Mary Pass"
|February 5, 2006||XL||ABC||Grey's Anatomy at 10:05–11:15 p.m. ET||"It's the End of the World"||37.8||27%|
|February 4, 2007||XLI||CBS||Criminal Minds at 10:20–11:25 p.m. ET||"The Big Game"||26.314||26%|
|February 3, 2008||XLII||Fox||House at 10:30 p.m. ET||"Frozen"||29.045||27%|
|February 1, 2009||XLIII||NBC||The Office at 10:45 p.m. ET||"Stress Relief" (one-hour episode)||22.905||21%|
|February 7, 2010||XLIV||CBS||Undercover Boss at 10:15 p.m. ET||"Waste Management" (first episode)||38.654||32%|
|February 6, 2011||XLV||Fox||Glee at 10:35–11:40 p.m. ET||"The Sue Sylvester Shuffle"||26.796||25%|
|February 5, 2012||XLVI||NBC|| The Voice at 10:15 p.m. ET
Late Night with Jimmy Fallon at 11:30 p.m. ET
|"Episode 1: The Blind Auditions, Part 1" (season premiere)|| 37.611
|February 3, 2013||XLVII||CBS||Elementary at 11:15 p.m. ET
The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson at 12:47 a.m. ET
"The Craig Ferguson Super Bowl Special"
|February 2, 2014||XLVIII||Fox||New Girl at 10:20 p.m. ET
Brooklyn Nine-Nine at 10:55 p.m. ET
"Operation: Broken Feather"
|February 1, 2015||XLIX||NBC|| The Blacklist at 10:38 p.m. ET
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 12:13 a.m. ET
|"Luther Braxton" (Part 1)||25.724
|February 7, 2016||50||CBS|| The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 10:54 p.m. ET
The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37 a.m. ET
| Colbert: Guests Tina Fey, Margot Robbie, Will Ferrell, Megyn Kelly, Keegan-Michael Key & Jordan Peele
Corden: Guests Zac Efron, Anna Kendrick, Adam DeVine, "Carpool Karaoke" with Elton John
|February 5, 2017||LI||Fox||24: Legacy||Pilot|
Lead-outs in Canada
CTV, who currently airs the Super Bowl in Canada, has aired its own specific lead-out programs for Canadian audiences, as the network does not necessarily own domestic rights to the program airing as the lead-out of the U.S. broadcaster. Super Bowl XLVI provided an exception, however; as CTV holds Canadian rights to The Voice, it was able to simulcast its second-season premiere along with NBC after the game.
After Super Bowl XLV, CTV aired the season finale of its original drama Flashpoint, as Glee rights were held by Global. Global counterprogrammed the game itself with a "Sue-Per Bowl Sunday" marathon of Glee-themed programming, including previous episodes and Glee-themed episodes of The Simpsons ("Elementary School Musical") and The Office to lead into its simulcast of the new episode.
CTV was to air a "sneak peek" of the second season of its original sitcom Spun Out after Super Bowl XLIX, but the premiere was pulled after cast member J. P. Manoux was charged with voyeurism. The season 2 premiere of MasterChef Canada was pushed ahead to air in its place.
Setting the trend
Super Bowl lead out shows set a new trend in television in the early 21st century. Some post-season games, particularly those aired on Fox, have been followed by potential and/or significant television event shows, such as its recent revival of The X-Files. Season finales of Food Network's flagship show, Food Network Star, have been followed either by premieres of promising new shows, season premieres of continuing series, or continuing episodes of shows, all of which Food Network deems has potential and will attract even more viewers to its network.
- Pergament, Alan (February 6, 2013). “American Idol” Slipping Here and Nationally. Retrieved February 6, 2013.
- "The Top 5 Super Bowl Lead-Out Shows Ever". Hulu.com. TheHuffingtonPost.com, Inc. 2 February 2012. Retrieved 28 January 2012.
- Basysinger, Tim (February 2, 2016). "10 TV Shows You Probably Forgot Debuted Right After the Super Bowl". Adweek.
- Davidson, Casey; "Super Bowl Bump", Entertainment Weekly, February 12, 1993
- Baysinger, Tim (February 1, 2016). "Infographic: Do TV Shows Airing After the Super Bowl Gain Long-Term Viewers?". Adweek.
- "TV Ratings: Super Bowl XLIV, Post Game and Undercover Boss Dominate Weekly Viewing". tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com. 9 February 2010. Retrieved 3 February 2014.
- Gray, Ellen (11 November 2015). "Colbert's 'Late Show' scores post-Super Bowl slot". Philadelphia Daily News. Retrieved 11 November 2015.
- Gorman, Bill (February 1, 2014). "The Programs After The 'Super Bowl': How Will 'New Girl' & 'Brooklyn 9-9' Do? (Poll+Ratings History)". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved February 1, 2014.
- "Best & Worst: Post-Super Bowl TV". zap2it.com. Retrieved 2010-02-08.
- Buck, Jerry (February 16, 1985). "For Harrold, new ABC series is next best thing to a Western". Deseret News. Associated Press. Retrieved 2 August 2012.
- "Sunday, January 26, 1986". TV Time Capsule. January 26, 2010. Retrieved 2010-07-10.
- "Sunday, January 25, 1987". TV Time Capsule. January 25, 2010. Retrieved 2010-07-10.
- "Sunday, January 28, 1990". TV Time Capsule. January 28, 2010. Retrieved 2010-07-10.
- "Sunday, January 27, 1991". TV Time Capsule. January 27, 2010. Retrieved 2010-07-10.
- "Clintons to Rebut Rumors on '60 Minutes', The New York Times, January 25, 1992
- "Sunday, January 31, 1993". TV Time Capsule. January 31, 2010. Retrieved 2010-07-10.
- "Sunday, January 30, 1994". TV Time Capsule. January 30, 2010. Retrieved 2010-07-10.
- "Sunday, January 29, 1995". TV Time Capsule. January 29, 2010. Retrieved 2010-07-10.
- "On Average, Halftime Show Performers Score 555% Post Game Sales Bump". Nielsen Wire. 5 February 2010. Retrieved 5 January 2012.
- 'House' to follow Super Bowl - Entertainment News, TV News, Media - Variety
- Seidman, Robert (February 4, 2008). "Nielsen Ratings for Sunday, Feb 3: Super or Not so Super?". Retrieved 2010-02-08.
- "Super Bowl 'Office' Scores Jack Black". zap2it.com. December 15, 2008.
- "CBS To Premiere Undercover Boss After Super Bowl". cinemablend.com. December 12, 2009. Retrieved 2010-02-09.
- FOX ANNOUNCES PRIMETIME SLATE FOR 2010-2011 SEASON
- Franich, Darren (2011-02-07). "'Glee' Super Bowl ratings are in! Biggest scripted TV telecast in three years, but... | Inside TV | EW.com". Insidetv.ew.com. Retrieved 2012-03-06.
- Updated: Bad News for ‘Elementary’ As Super Bowl Power Outage Delays Game ~34 Minutes
- NBC's 'The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon' Tops Prior 6 Post-Super Bowl Late Night Telecasts in Metered Market Household Ratings & Hits Series High in Adults 18-49
- Buck, Jerry. "Elementary Receives Coveted Post-Super Bowl Slot".
- Post-Super Bowl 'Elementary' delivers 20.8 Million Viewers. 7.8 Rating in Adults 18-49
- No Record for Super Bowl XLVII - 108.4 Million Viewers Makes It 3rd Most-Watched Ever; 'Elementary' Averages 20.8 Million Viewers
- ‘The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson’ Super Bowl Special Delivers the Program’s Second-Largest Audience Ever
- "There's a new No. 1 on broadcast - Media Life Magazine". www.medialifemagazine.com. Retrieved 2015-12-27.
- "2/5/14 - Cynopsis Media". Cynopsis Media. Retrieved 2015-12-27.
- Blas, Lorena (28 January 2016). "Fey, Ferrell, Key, Peele to join Colbert after Super Bowl". USA Today. Retrieved 30 January 2016.
- Steiner, Amanda Michelle (14 January 2016). "Carpool Karaoke: Elton John will be James Corden's next guest during Super Bowl segment". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 30 January 2016.
- "CTV Picks 'Flashpoint' For Coveted Post-Super Bowl Slot". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 28 January 2016.
- "CTV Picks NBC's 'The Voice' For Prized Post-Super Bowl Slot". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 28 January 2016.
- "Canadian Viewers Find their MOTIVE: New Canadian Series Debuts with 1.23 Million Viewers ### #1 Canadian Series Premiere of the Broadcast Season" (Press release). Bell Media. February 4, 2013. Retrieved February 6, 2013.
- "'MasterChef Canada' replaces 'Spun Out' after scandal". Toronto Sun. Postmedia Network. Retrieved 28 January 2016.
- "'DC's Legends of Tomorrow' to follow the Super Bowl on CTV". Toronto Sun. Postmedia Network. Retrieved 28 January 2016.