While much of the television industry is obsessing over how well NBC’s “SNL 40” broadcast fared Sunday, some are surely dwelling over how poorly FOX’s comedy lineup performed.
Barring adjustments in the final ratings report, it appears “The Simpsons,” “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” and “Family Guy” all fell to new low marks opposite NBC’s juggernaut “Saturday Night Live” special.
Leading out of “Mulaney” (0.4 adults 18-49 rating, 1.11 million viewers) and a “Simpsons” re-run (0.6 adults 18-49 rating, 1.49 million), Sunday’s original “The Simpsons” settled for a mere 1.1 adults 18-49 rating with 2.75 million viewers. “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” followed with a paltry 0.9 and 2.14 million viewers, while “Family Guy” scored a 1.2 with 2.51 million viewers. “Bob’s Burgers” then closed the night with a 0.9 and 1.99 million.
This week’s episodes appear to be the lowest-rated and least-watched “Simpsons,” “B99” and “Family Guy” installments on record (at least those in regularly scheduled timeslots). And these new bottom points come a week after “The Simpsons” and “Family Guy” fell to lows opposite the 57th Annual Grammy Awards.
While it would be irresponsible to discuss the consecutive lows without paying mind to the enormous competition (which includes “The Walking Dead” in the case of “Family Guy”), it would be similarly irresponsible to rule out the possibility of a general cool down.
Last year’s “The Simpsons” and “Family Guy” fared considerably better against the Grammy Awards telecast than this year’s episodes did. And while the 2014 Grammys did not come on the same night as the season premiere of “The Walking Dead,” “Family Guy” routinely deals with simultaneous competition from AMC’s “TWD” and NBC’s juggernaut “Sunday Night Football” in the fall. It never performs as poorly as it has done over the past two weeks.
Moreover, “The Simpsons,” “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” and “Family Guy” all drew season low marks on January 25, which represented one of the least competitive nights of the season.
That they are nearly certain to post improved ratings for their next broadcasts in March does not mean FOX’s three comedies have their momentum fully intact.