The cushy post-Super Bowl slot that's given to the hosting network will always boost a show's ratings, but a litany of factors didn't help out 24: Legacy as much as Fox would have liked.
The debut of the 24 reboot without Jack Bauer was watched by 17.6 million viewers and earned a 6.1 rating among the coveted 18-49-year old demographic, according to Fox. On their own, those are great numbers, sure. But looking back in history, it's the least-watched post-Super Bowl episode of television since 2003, when ABC aired a Season 2 episode of Alias. That episode was also hurt due to a post-game Bon Jovi concert aired by ABC, which dragged its audience down to a 17.4 million viewer tally.
The Super Bowl itself was watched by 111.3 million viewers, making it the fourth most-watched telecast in history.
Due to Touchdown Tom taking his sweet time to get the New England Patriots into the game, Super Bowl LI went into overtime -- a first for the NFL's championship game -- meaning 24: Legacy didn't even start until 11 p.m. ET, and since Congress refuses to OK my petition to make the day after the Super Bowl a national holiday, many were halfway to dreamland by the time 24: Legacy aired its first torture scene. (The episode actually opened with a man who was tortured, so it didn't take long.)
By getting that additional estimated 200,000 viewers, 24: Legacy avoided becoming the least-watched post-Super Bowl episode since 1975, when NBC aired NBC Nightly News; that was back when networks didn't understand how to best use the time after the Super Bowl.
But it's not all bad news for 24: Legacy. The numbers make it the highest-rated scripted program of the season and Fox hopes even a sliver of that audience sticks around to watch Episode 2, which airs Monday night. That will be the real test of 24: Legacy; the post-Super Bowl numbers only tell us who was too lazy to change the channel.