Why does getting jilted work for The Bachelor? Why does Jay Leno owe David Letterman a card a car a house? And how many people really watched the Lost premiere?
The answers—and more questions about Smallville, Conan O'Brien and more—in the latest TV ratings quiz:
1. Wasn't that terrible last night when Ali chose her job over Jake? Not for The Bachelor. The show hit another season high, scoring with an estimated 12.3 million people who can't believe they're still watching this maddening thing.
2. Leno got a Super Bowl bounce, didn't he? Yup. Last night's Jay Leno Show—the penultimate new episode, as it turned out—was up 13 percent from the previous Monday (4.3 million viewers versus 3.8 million), i.e., before Letterman welcomed the presumed outcast into his and Oprah's good graces for their Super Sunday commercial.
3. Could there be any worse news for Conan O'Brien? Actually, yeah. His sympathy bounce has subsided, and his Tonight Show reruns are now losing again to Letterman's Late Show.
4. Was there any indication that the Super Bowl was going to be the biggest anything in TV history? When the CBS clip special, Super Bowl's Greatest Commercials, drew a bigger weeknight audience than new episodes of 24, How I Met Your Mother, The Office and lots more, then, yes, that was a sign folks were geared up. In the end, by the way, 153.4 million people—or, more than half the nation's population—caught at least a glimpse of Sunday's game.
5. Is Undercover Boss a hit? To be determined. To be sure, its post-Super Bowl launch was huge (38.7 million), and, in fact, the most-watched series premiere since The Dolly Show. What's The Dolly Show? The reason we say Undercover Boss' ultimate success is to be determined. (In case curiosity is killing you regarding The Dolly Show, go here. Say hello to Bruce Willis' hair for us.)
6. If the Nielsen rankings weren't so hopelessly 20th century, where would the Lost premiere have placed? If you take the 12.1 million old-schoolers who watched the show on TV (or on a DVR later that night), and add in the 580,000 clicks the episode generated the next day on ABC.com, then the series would have moved from 19th place to 17th place in the weekly rankings, and, in the process, bypassed Bones and Grey's Anatomy. Of course, Bones and Grey's Anatomy also surely generated online views, so those shows' true ratings were also higher than what Nielsen's new media-ignoring count indicate.
7. Did Heroes' series finale air last night? Well, NBC did renew Parks and Recreation, so you never know. For now, last night was merely its fourth-season finale—its fourth-season finale that was watched by a whopping 4.4 million.
8. Hawkman: Cool or not cool? Cool! Smallville's visit to the Hawkman-hailing Justice Society of America scored the series' biggest audience of the season (2.8 million). Vampire Diaries (4 million) paced the CW.
Here's a look at the top 10 broadcast network shows for the week ended Sunday, per Nielsen Media Research:
- Super Bowl XLIV, 106.5 million
- Super Bowl XLIV Postgame, 75.5 million
- Undercover Boss, 38.7 million
- American Idol (Tuesday), 24.7 million
- American Idol (Wednesday), 21 million
- NCIS, 19.2 million
- Two and a Half Men, 16.5 million
- NCIS: Los Angeles, 16.4 million
- The Big Bang Theory, 15.5 million
- Criminal Minds, 14.7 million
Sure, The Bachelor's on a roll, but nothing's bigger than the big game. Find out who was who, and where, in our Super Bowl Sightings gallery.