Brooklyn Nine-Nine scored its best ratings ever on Sunday night after the Super Bowl, pulling in 14 million viewers.
That would be fine and all, except that this particular episode of Brooklyn was arguably the best episode of post-Super Bowl comedy since Friends in 1996, and that show pulled in nearly 53 million viewers.
Now, we don't expect a first-year series (Brooklyn) to compete with the likes of the most iconic TV comedy in recent history (Friends), particularly when it airs after such a blowout of a game (how many people actually watched til the end?), but suffice to say, Brooklyn's ratings were not what they could have been. And we blame Prince's flapjacks.
New Girl, which aired before Brooklyn, pulled in an audience of 25.8 million. (The Super Bowl had 96.9 million viewers.) It was a Prince-as-guest-star extravaganza and only half of New Girl's viewers stuck around long enough to roll into Brooklyn. Perhaps because the Prince thing was...odd.
In case you missed it (or didn't stick around til the end), Nick (Jake Johnson) and Jess (Zooey Deschanel), had a weird fight (she couldn't say "I love you," which was the weirdest stretch for this ultra-romantic character), went to a party at Prince's house (um, OK), and then Prince "fixed" Jess by cooking her pancakes, dressing her up in Pretty Woman-esque montage of strange clothing, and butterfly whispering. It was exactly as weird as it sounds. And not in the usual way we love New Girl weirdness.
In contrast, Brooklyn, which is just coming off two surprise Golden Globes wins, hit all the right notes with big laughs, stellar writing, a few fun cameos (including Adam Sandler reuniting with his SNL buddy Andy Samberg), some hilarious ladder humor (can you ever go wrong?) and an end-zone dance sequence that made us want to hire star Terry Crews as our own personal victory dancer.
Of course, the ratings could have been worse. Fox notes that New Girl out-rated last year's post-Super Bowl show, Elementary, by 442 percent in adults 18-49 and 23 percent in viewers. Last year, CBS slotted an episode of Elementary after the Super Bowl. And the Jonny Lee Miller/Lucy Liu series about a modern day Sherlock Holmes had 20.8 million viewers. But they could have been better. Along with Friends, other notable post-game shows include Survivor: Australian Outback with 45.4 million viewers in 2001, Grey's Anatomy with 37.9 million viewers in 2006, Undercover Boss with 38.7 million viewers in 2010 and The Voice with 37.6 million viewers in 2012.
The silver lining? Brooklyn is really coming into its own...more or less earning those Globes wins in reverse. Check out the next new episode on Fox this Tuesday, the same night we presume New Girl will return to its usual good weird.
What did you think of New Girl and Brooklyn last night? Hit the comments.