10 Fun Facts About Post-Super Bowl TV Programming

There's a great chance you'll be watching the Super Bowl this Sunday—attending a Super Bowl party (and suffering the requisite nachos hangover) could be considered an unofficial national pastime. There's also a good chance that you'll stick around for the lead-out program—which, this year, is Glee. Both the song-and-dance series and FOX have a lot in their favor going into Sunday night—Glee is in the middle of its much-talked-about second season, and this year's Super Bowl is expected to take the crown for "most watched telecast of all time." But the post-game TV programming wasn't always such a high-profile event. Here are some fun facts about the history of this precious once-a-year timeslot.

1. From 1967 to 1984, only CBS and NBC ever aired the Super Bowl, trading off each year. ABC entered the rotation in 1985, and FOX followed suit in 1997.

2. Until 1995, what aired in the lead-out spot varied wildly. Networks tried everything from cheesy TV movies (NBC’s Brotherhood of the Rose, in 1989) to dud pilots (ABC’s Davis Rules, in 1991) to long-running golf tournaments (Bing Crosby Pro-Am, a.k.a. AT&T; Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, in 1971) to news magazines (60 Minutes, which CBS aired multiple times after the game) to old favorites like Lassie (in 1967) and All in the Family in (1978).

3. On occasion, the lead-out slot has launched huge hits—including The Wonder Years (which premiered in 1988) and Homicide: Life on the Street (which premiered in 1993).

4. The New Perry Mason is the only show to ever air its series finale after the Super Bowl (in 1974). Though it only ran for one season, anyway.

5. It wasn't until the mid-'90s that networks began airing prestige programming and awarding the timeslot to one of their signature shows. NBC was the first network to do so, when it aired Friends’ “The One After the Super Bowl” in 1995—and 53 million people watched. That number still hasn’t been topped.

6. 2001's second-season premiere of Survivor is in second place, ratings-wise, at 45 million viewers. Last year's pilot of Undercover Boss—the only not-yet-established show to air since 1995—is in third, with nearly 39 million viewers.

7. FOX has twice used the spot to build up what is now its two-hour "Animation Domination" block, by leading out with The Simpsons and then debuting a new animated show—in 1999, with Family Guy, and in 2005, with American Dad!.

8. Friends, Alias, Criminal Minds, and Grey’s Anatomy were all in their second seasons when they nabbed the coveted spot.

9. Friends, 3rd Rock from the Sun, The Simpsons, and Criminal Minds have all crafted football- or Super Bowl-themed episodes for the occasion, just as Glee is doing this year.

10. Friends, Malcolm in the Middle, Alias, Grey’s Anatomy, Criminal Minds, House, and The Office nearly doubled their regular viewership for the post-Super Bowl episode—and The X-Files nearly tripled it.

Will you be tuning into Glee after the game this weekend? And if so, are you specifically looking forward to seeing Artie sing "Thriller," or do you usually watch the Super Bowl lead-out simply because the TV is already on?

Comments (34)
Submit
Sort: Latest | Popular
Ahhh The X-files... those were good times :)
Reply
Flag
I`m not a fan with either Glee or superbowl :(
Reply
Flag
@Riley- it will probably be available on Fox later or Hulu or Fancast or something... I know i-Tunes will carry it definitely.
Reply
Flag
What is with all the Glee hate? It is an incredible show! I missed the first season because I thought it would be lame and then a friend made me watch it... And now I am totally addicted.
Reply
Flag
Will the episode of Glee that is airing after the Super Bowl be replayed? I get up early and so I can't stay up late to watch it (and I have zero interest in the Super Bowl). I remember the Survivor: Australian Outback premiere was replayed later in the week, but that fact was only announced after the episode aired (I assume to get people to watch it on Sunday and not wait to watch the replay). Thanks!
Reply
Flag
I'll watch the Super bowl (Go Packers!) But no Glee.
Reply
Flag
To be honest i have no interest in glee but the first few seconds in right after the super bowl almost had me hooked. Nice play. Almost.
Reply
Flag
I feel like I stepped into a not-so-parallel universe. What's Glee and isn't the Superbowl a rerun, anyway? Nachos? Are you kidding?
Reply
Flag
No to watching Super Bowl and no to Glee. In the past, I've watched some Super Bowl for the half time show. But mostly don't watch so unless the lead out show was like one of my favorites I wouldn't tune in for it either.
Reply
Flag
i don't watch superbowl
Reply
Flag
If they made Glee themed toilet paper, i would not use it, I have too much respect my assss After the game it will be time to either read or catch up on shows I couldn't watch, like supernatural, since I was too busy watching the much better Fringe at that time on friday. Hope they send Glee to an alternate universe and never let them find the show find its way back.
Reply
Flag
Glee sucks, but sucks so much, so much.... what a suckly show!
Reply
Flag
I'll watch the Super Bowl. But I will immediately turn the channel to avoid Glee.
Reply
Flag
Super Bowl?...
(Yawn) More like "Super Bore"... So, no, I'll not be watching it.
As for afterward... who knows?
Reply
Flag
I will be watching the Super Bowl (Go Packers!), but I'm not sure what I'll be watching afterward. BTW: I love the post-Super Bowl ALIAS episode, it's one of the best of the series.
Reply
Flag
I have never in my life seen a Super Bowl, and I do not watch Glee.. so I think I will just be watching Buffy on DVD Sunday night.
Reply
Flag
I think you forgot 24... I think that a lot of seasons started just after the Super Bowl.
Reply
Flag
I'll watch the superbowl with friends at a friend's house and NO I won't watch glee afterwards.
Reply
Flag
While my dad and sister are big football fans I am not so while they're watching the game I think this year I'll watch the puppy bowl lol its sounds too cute! :]
Reply
Flag
Go Packers! I don't watch Glee, so no.
Reply
Flag
will watch for the atmosphere and commercials, will stay for Glee
Reply
Flag
Noooope. Won't even be watching the Super Bowl :P Football doesn't interest this girl, sorry...
Reply
Flag
Gonna watch the game and the commercials and read a book. Sorry not interested in Glee.
Reply
Flag
Although I totally understand the logic of pairing two ratings powerhouses together, I find this years pairing to be odd. When I go watch the game with my buddies, I can safely say that when it's over, not a single one of us is going to say "oh cool! Glee's coming on!!" I'll be curious to see how big the ratings drop will end up being after the game ends. I'm guessing it will be substantial
Reply
Flag
Not really into football, I'm only looking forward to Glee. And maybe I'll watch the commercials during the game.
Reply
Flag
I'm usually heading home after the Super Bowl, so no, I will not be watching Glee.
Reply
Flag
I have to wonder why Fox went with an established show after the Super Bowl...seems a perfect spot to launch what Fox sees as their next big hit. Choosing Glee seems like Fox is happy with what they have at present.
Reply
Flag
Not interested in either Glee or the Superbowl ..... so my answer is also no.
Reply
Flag
Go Steelers!
Reply
Flag
Glee? the Super Bowl? I don't watch any of that. So the answer is no.
Reply
Flag
I'm not even interested in the Super Bowl this year, much less the show airing after it, Just don't like "Glee". And the last show that aired after the Super Bowl that i liked was "Malcolm in the Middle".
Reply
Flag
Glee has had a few football themed episodes already so it will just seem like a regular episode. Not really looking forward to the "Thriller" cover but I'll watch, might not be right after the Super Bowl, usually watch Glee on DVR.
Reply
Flag
I wish Glee had Chris Benoit as a father.
Reply
Flag
Interesting, BUT WHY GLEE?????
Reply
Flag

Like TV.com on Facebook