Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Shows That Aired In The Post-Super Bowl Timeslot

It's well-known that the very best timeslot a television show can possibly get is the one right after the Super Bowl. You are absolutely deadlock guaranteed a vast audience that hasn't bothered to change the channel after the game. Networks know this, or at least have come to learn this over the years. Which leads to a big decision: who gets it. You have one hour, tops, and you had better make it count. Most of the time it will be used to give an existing show a needed push, or a new show the network is high on and wants to see get off to a fast start. Other times it'll simply be given to one of the network's marquee shows, which stands a very good chance of having a Super Bowl-themed episode ready for the occasion. But the timeslot's not going to be thrown away, at least not if the network is smart.

It took them a bit of time to get smart.

So what has it been used on? (Shows running Super Bowl-themed episodes in bold.)

I (Packers over Chiefs), the only Super Bowl to be simulcast on two networks: Lassie (CBS), Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color (NBC)
II (Packers over Raiders): local programming, then Lassie (CBS)
III (Jets over Colts): G.E. College Bowl (NBC)
IV (Chiefs over Vikings): Lassie (CBS)
V (Colts over Cowboys): Bing Crosby Pro-Am Golf Tournament (NBC)
VI (Cowboys over Dolphins): 60 Minutes (CBS)
VII (Dolphins over Redskins): The Wonderful World of Disney (NBC)
VIII (Dolphins over Vikings): local programming, then The New Perry Mason (CBS)
IX (Steelers over Vikings): NBC Nightly News
X (Steelers over Cowboys): Phoenix Open Golf Tournament (CBS) (won by Bob Gilder)
XI (Raiders over Vikings): The Wonderful World of Disney (NBC) (particularly fitting, as the game was in Pasadena and Disney also presented the halftime show)
XII (Cowboys over Broncos): All in the Family (CBS)
XIII (Steelers over Cowboys): Brothers and Sisters (NBC; the first pilot in post-Super Bowl history)
XIV (Steelers over Rams): 60 Minutes (CBS)
XV (Raiders over Eagles): CHiPs (NBC)
XVI (49ers over Bengals): 60 Minutes (CBS)
XVII (Redskins over Dolphins): The A-Team (NBC; had premiered the previous week)
XIX (Raiders over Redskins): Airwolf (CBS; pilot)
XIX (49ers over Dolphins): MacGruder and Loud (ABC; pilot)
XX (Bears over Patriots): The Last Precinct (NBC; pilot)
XXI (Giants over Broncos): Hard Copy (CBS; pilot, and before you start wondering, no it's not that tabloid show; it's a short-lived drama that went by the same name)
XXII (Redskins over Broncos): The Wonder Years (ABC; pilot)
XXIII (49ers over Bengals): Brotherhood of the Rose (NBC; this was part 1 of a made-for-TV movie)
XXIV (49ers over Broncos): Grand Slam (CBS; pilot)
XXV (Giants over Bills): Davis Rules (ABC; pilot)
XXVI (Redskins over Bills): abbreviated 60 Minutes, then 48 Hours (CBS)
XXVII (Cowboys over Bills): Homicide: Life on the Street (NBC; pilot)
XXVIII (Cowboys over Bills): The Good Life (pilot), then The John Laroquette Show (NBC)
XXIX (49ers over Chargers): Extreme (ABC; pilot)
XXX (Cowboys over Steelers): Friends (NBC)
XXXI (Packers over Patriots): The X-Files (FOX)
XXXII (Broncos over Packers): 3rd Rock From The Sun (NBC)
XXXIII (Broncos over Falcons): Family Guy (pilot), then The Simpsons (FOX)
XXXIV (Rams over Titans): The Practice (ABC)
XXXV (Ravens over Giants): Survivor: Australian Outback (CBS)
XXXVI (Patriots over Rams): Malcolm in the Middle (FOX)
XXXVII (Buccaneers over Raiders): Jimmy Kimmel Live (pilot), then Alias (ABC)
XXXVIII (Patriots over Panthers): Survivor: All-Stars (CBS)
XXXIX (Patriots over Eagles): The Simpsons, then American Dad! (pilot) (FOX)
XL (Steelers over Seahawks): Grey's Anatomy (ABC)
XLI (Colts over Bears): Criminal Minds (CBS)
XLII (Giants over Patriots): House (FOX)
XLIII (Steelers over Cardinals): The Office (NBC)
XLIV (Saints over Colts): Undercover Boss (CBS; pilot)
XLV (Packers over Steelers): Glee (FOX)
XLVI (Giants over Patriots): The Voice (NBC)
XLVII (Ravens over 49ers): Elementary (CBS)

As for this season, the game belongs to FOX, and they've long since announced the show that will air in the timeslot. It's been known since May that the timeslot is going to New Girl. They intend to run one of their newer comedies right after New Girl, but which one that will be is still up in the air. The hope is, clearly, that whatever they pick will take off like Family Guy and American Dad did when they were paired with The Simpsons in Super Bowls XXXIII and XXXIX.

Of course, as you can also see, running a pilot doesn't always work. Take Brothers and Sisters, which ran after Super Bowl XIII. It was one of three new comedies set in frat houses that year, all launched in response to the success of the movie Animal House, and none of which lasted past the first season. One of the others, CBS's Co-Ed Fever, was a one-episode wonder, airing at a special time for its premiere and getting cancelled before it could move into what was to be its regular timeslot. The failure of Brothers and Sisters can be encapsulated in an incident that occurred when actress Mary Crosby, who would later go on to be better known as the one who shot J.R. on Dallas, appeared on Hollywood Squares for the week of March 12-16, 1979. Host Peter Marshall, at one point, said that Brothers and Sisters was airing "on another network".

Crosby had to correct him, as they were both on NBC.

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