"Elementary" was a post-Super Bowl ratings flop for CBS, my dear Watson. The new-school "Sherlock Holmes" procedural only attracted 20.8 million viewers, a poor showing by post-Super Bowl ratings standards. Last year, NBC's broadcast of "The Voice" garnered 37.6 million viewers.
The low number can be partially explained by the 34-minute mid-game blackout that pushed back the start of "Elementary" into the 11 p.m. ET hour.
Nevertheless, the ratings make "Elementary" the lowest post-Super Bowl lead-out show since "Alias" attracted 17.3 million viewers for ABC in 2003. NBC's 1996 broadcast of "Friends" holds the record for the most-watched post-Super Bowl show with 52.9 million viewers.
"Elementary," which stars Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu, has been one of the highest-rated new shows of the 2012-2013 TV season, averaging close to 10 million viewers per episode.
Super Bowl XLVII itself averaged 108.4 million viewers, which came in slightly behind the last two NFL championship games. Last year's Giants vs. Patriots matchup holds the record for total average viewership with 111.3 million viewers.
Check out the slideshow below to see how other post-Super Bowl shows fared in the ratings.
"The A-Team," NBC, 1983
NBC premiered the first episode of "The A-Team" on January 30, 1983 immediately after Super Bowl XVII. The action-adventure show resonated in the male demographic, <a href="http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/2013/01/30/the-program-after-the-super-bowl-how-will-elementary-do-pollratings-history/167082/">scoring 21 million viewers</a> and 26 percent of the total TV audience. It <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_A-Team#Reception">continued to pull in 17-20 percent</a> of the total TV audience in its first three seasons, an impressive feat that was only possible in the days before TV fragmentation, and many more channels, gave viewers infinitely more options.
"The Wonder Years," ABC, 1988
"The Wonder Years" pilot episode aired on ABC in 1988, after Super Bowl XXIII. The heartfelt family dramacomedy -- whose opening scene featured Kevin and his friends playing street football -- <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Wonder_Years#Ratings">scored 28.9 million viewers</a> that night, and won a Best Comedy Emmy only six episodes later.
"Friends," NBC, 1996
Just as "Friends" was hitting its stride in its second season in 1996, the now-classic sitcom got a huge ratings boost when NBC decided to air the comedy after Super Bowl XXX. The episode, creatively titled "The One After The Super Bowl," brought in <a href="http://www.mercurynews.com/entertainment/ci_22466985/super-bowl-2013-top-5-post-super-bowl">52.9 million viewers</a>, a massive ratings number that still stands as the highest-rated post-Super Bowl show ever. "Friends" would not come close to matching those ratings until its series finale, which boasted 52.2 million viewers. <a href="http://newmusicandmore.tripod.com/friendsratings.html">"Friends" averaged 20 million viewers</a> per episode that season, making it highest rated of its 10 seasons.
"Survivor: The Australian Outback"
CBS capitalized on the early days of the reality TV phenomenon and earned gigantic post-Super Bowl ratings in 2001 when the network premiered "Survivor: The Australian Outback" right after Super Bowl XXXV. The debut episode of "Survivor's" second season <a href="http://www.mercurynews.com/entertainment/ci_22466985/super-bowl-2013-top-5-post-super-bowl">scored a whopping 45 million viewers</a>. "Survivor" rode that momentum and became the top-rated show of the year, averaging 30 million viewers per episode throughout the season.
"Alias," ABC, 2003
"Alias" holds the ignoble distinction of being the lowest-rated post-Super Bowl show of the modern era. <a href="http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,417964,00.html">Only 17 million viewers stuck around</a> ABC to watch the J.J. Abrams spy drama starring Jennifer Garner after Super Bowl XXVII in 2003. Although the show is now remembered as a cult hit, it never was a ratings smash. Still, the post-Super Bowl bump lifted Season 2 above its <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alias_(TV_series)#U.S._television_ratings">average of 9 million viewers per episode</a>.
"Grey's Anatomy," ABC, 2006
"Grey's Anatomy" stepped up to the post-Super Bowl XL challenge in 2006 with a highly memorable episode titled "It's The End Of The World," built around a bizarre premise. When a patient showed up at Seattle Grace with a bomb in his belly, Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) was forced to hold her hand in his chest to keep it from exploding. The heavily-hyped episode was <a href="http://popwatch.ew.com/2006/02/07/greys_anatomys_/">saw 38.1 million viewers</a> -- the highest-rated "Grey's" episode in history -- during <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grey%27s_Anatomy#U.S._television_ratings">the show's second season, which averaged 19.4 million viewers per episode</a>.
"Undercover Boss," CBS, 2010
CBS last aired the Super Bowl in 2010, and the network doubled-down on their "Survivor" strategy by debuting a reality show with a concept that was a novelty at the time: "Undercover Boss." An <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Undercover_Boss_(U.S._TV_series)#Reception">impressive 38 million viewers</a> tuned in to the Waste Management episode, and propelled the show to <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Undercover_Boss#U.S._television_ratings">very strong ratings in its first season, averaging 17 million viewers per episode</a>.
"Glee," Fox, 2011
In 2011, "Glee" second season was a breakout hit for Fox, but the high school singing dramedy proved not to be the best demographic fit with the post-Super Bowl audience. "The Sue Sylvester Shuffle" episode, which featured a "Thriller" dance number, zombie costumes and a Katie Couric cameo, <a href="http://insidetv.ew.com/2011/02/07/glee-super-bowl-ratings-are-in/">only scored 26.8 million viewers</a> during a season in which it <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glee_(TV_series)#Ratings">averaged 10 million viewers per episode</a>.
"The Voice," NBC, 2012
NBC used the post-Super Bowl XLVI spot to seize the upper hand in the battle of reality singing competitions. The Season 2 premiere of <a href="http://mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/02/06/the-voice-follows-the-super-bowl-to-rare-ratings-heights/">"The Voice" scored 37.6 million viewers</a>, getting the new season -- <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Voice_(U.S._TV_series)#Ratings">which would average 15 million viewers per episode</a> -- off to a strong ratings start that made it far more relevant than "American Idol" or "The X Factor."
"Elementary," CBS, 2013
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/04/elementary-ratings-post-super-bowl_n_2617282.html">"Elementary" attracted 20.8 million</a> viewers for CBS, the lowest-rated Super Bowl lead-out show since "Alias." The low number can be partially explained by the 34-minute mid-game blackout that pushed back the start of "Elementary" into the 11 p.m. ET hour.
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