Lost in the hoopla of the Super Bowl numbers is the ratings battle that followed. CTV’s solid Super Bowl audience (an estimated 4, 093,000–great, but less than half proportionately, Fox’s massive 97.5 million draw) bailed on that fifth season opener of Nip/Tuck, which drew 623,000 viewers. Over at Global, the network stripped of the Super Bowl scored a post-game touchdown with a new episode of House, which drew over twice as many viewers, 1,294,000 (overnight estimates from BBM NMR).
Did CTV simply pick the wrong show? Easy to be a Tuesday morning quarterback, but they do have a sketchy history with Nip/Tuck, leaving it on the shelf for entire seasons. Mad Men, their U.S. cable pickup (from AMC), has more buzz and may have been a better fit. Hell, they ran enough Dexter promos during the game they might as well have handed the ball to Michael C. Hall, although Nip/Tuck was hyped to death, too.
Global clearly benefited from having Fox’s post-Super Bowl prize. House scored an astounding 29 million viewers Sunday night in the U.S.–at 11 p.m.! The episode, if you didn’t stay up to see it, will be repeated Feb. 15 and guest starred Mira Sorvino as a shrink trapped at the South Pole who gets House to make a house call via web cam.
The Super Bowl stunt pushed it to the highest rated scripted program on any network in two years among households and adults 18-49. It was also Fox’s highest rated scripted series in over 10 years.