25 Shows That (Mostly) Scored a Touchdown After the Super Bowl (PHOTOS)

Luis Reyes

Clockwise from left: FOX/Getty Images(2); Brian D. McLaughlin/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank/Getty Images

Post-Game Shows

Since the first Super Bowl in 1967, the football extravaganza has been airing popular lead-out programs ranging from feel-good family fare to investigative journalism to dark procedurals and light-hearted comedies. With the recent announcement that The Late Show With Stephen Colbert has the coveted post-Super Bowl slot in 2016, which is also Super Bowl 50, we look back at the past 20 years of shows that aired after each game.

Extreme

ABC/Everett Collection

1995: Extreme - "Pilot" (Series Premiere)

Before Life in Pieces, James Brolin (father of Josh) starred in this adventure drama (along with Modern Family's Julie Bowen) that aired its pilot after the Super Bowl. But the series failed to take off with viewers, which forced network reconsideration of what future shows should air in that slot.

Friends

Brian D. McLaughlin/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank/Getty Images

1996: Friends - “The One After the Superbowl” (Parts 1 and 2)

The failure of the previous year’s Extreme led NBC to commission this special two-part episode of Friends. The ep's unbelievable success has, for the most part, created a tradition of airing an established show post-Super Bowl.

THE X-FILES

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1997: The X-Files - "Leonard Betts”

The monster of the week focused on a mutant able to detect and consume cancerous cells, and the ep was the most-watched in the series, with 29.1 million people tuning in to see Scully (Gillian Anderson) discover that she had cancer.

Third Rock Under The Sun

1998: 3rd Rock from the Sun - "36! 24! 36! Dick!” (Parts 1 and 2)

This pair of back-to-back episodes saw the gang thwart an alien invasion by the Vesuvians (played by supermodels Cindy Crawford, Angie Everhart, Irina Pantaeva and Beverly Johnson) at the Superbowl XXXII site in San Diego. At the end, in a meta moment, a few of the characters settled down to watch the Super Bowl on TV.

Family Guy

1999: Family Guy - "Death Has a Shadow” (Series Premiere)

The often-controversial adult cartoon made its debut and became one of creator Seth MacFarlane’s best-known works.

The Simpsons

Fox

1999: The Simpsons - “Sunday Cruddy Sunday”

The Simpsons also aired a controversial episode aired right after Family Guy. "Sunday" included a scene of a scantily-clad woman wearing a cross necklace, while washing a car. FOX later aired a censored version when the episode made it to syndication.

The Practice

ABC Photo Archives/ABC/Getty Images

2000: The Practice - “New Evidence (Part 1)"

As the show's most-watched episode, the story featured Lindsay (Kelli Williams) and the firm traveling to Los Angeles to defend a client on trial for murdering his online girlfriend. The City of Angels was chosen as a neutral setting because it didn’t have an NFL Team.

Survivor: The Australian Outback

Monty Brinton /CBS/Landov

2001: Survivor: The Australian Outback (Season Premiere)

The second season of Survivor took the contestants to Queensland; a decade later, the show is still going strong in its 32nd season.

MALCOLM IN THE MIDDLE

20th Century Fox Film Corp/Getty Images

2002: Malcolm in the Middle - "Company Picnic" (Part 1 and 2)

Packed with guest stars such as football legend Terry Bradshaw and Academy Award winner Susan Sarandon, this ep had the often-dysfunctional family attending Hal’s (Bryan Cranston) company picnic.

Alias

Scott Garfield/ABC/Getty Images

2003: Alias - “Phase One”

A show packed full of twists and turns took quite a few more in this episode, which had Sydney (Jennifer Garner) and Vaugh (Michael Vartan) finally taking down SD-6. But the victory episode ended on an OMG scene that revealed Francie (Merrin Dungery) dead after being shot by a doppelganger. Not surprising, this was the show’s highest-rated episode at 17,400,000 viewers.

Jimmy Kimmel Live

Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times/Getty Images

2003: Jimmy Kimmel Live! (Series Premiere)

After Alias, the late night talk show debuted with guest stars George Clooney, Snoop Dogg and Coldplay. Now, Kimmel is one of the longest-running late shows in ABC history.

Survivor All-Stars

CBS/Landov

2004: Survivor: All Stars (Season Premiere)

Season 8 saw the return of fan-favorite castaways from the show’s previous seven seasons.

The Simpsons

Fox

2008: The Simpsons - "Homer and Ned’s Hail Mary Pass"

The Super Bowl-themed episode is most notable for ending a long-running gag that finally revealed the name of Comic Book Guy: Jeff Albertson.

American Dad

2005: American Dad! (Series Premiere)

Seth MacFarlane’s second most popular adult cartoon premiered before the rest of the first season aired later in May 2005. This was also the first show to lead FOX’s Animation Domination program.

Greys Anatomy, ELLEN POMPEO, SANDRA OH, ISAIAH WASHINGTON, KYLE CHANDLER

Peter "Hopper" Stone/ABC

2006: Grey's Anatomy - "It’s The End of The World"

This second season episode (a two-parter that finished a week later) saw Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) getting a premonition that she’ll die…one that may actually come true when a trauma patient is admitted with a bomb piece inside of him. This is still the show’s highest-rated ep to date with 37.88 million viewers.

Criminal Minds

Monty Brinton/CBS

2007: Criminal Minds - "The Big Game"

Appropriately titled The Big Game, this is the highest-viewed Criminal Minds episode (26.2 million viewers), with the Behavioral Analysis Unit investigating the murder of a couple killed after a Super Bowl party. The BAU tracked a serial killer with multiple personalities (played by Dawson Creek's James Van Der Beek) who also liked to record the murders.

Superbowl - Super Bowl - House - Frozen

2008: House - "Frozen"

House became the first drama since The X-Files to be a lead-out program for FOX. Academy Award winner Mira Sorvino guest starred as a psychiatrist who succumbs to health issues in Antarctica.

The Office

2009: The Office - Stress Relief



In this 2-part episode, Dwight feels the need to test Dunder Mifflin's fire safety by literally setting a fire in the office. In classic The Office style, the ensuing panic causes Stanley to suffer a heart attack, while Michael stages a "celebrity" roast for himself to lessen the stress of the situation. Jessica Alba, Jack Black and Cloris Leachman also make an appearance in a fictional, illegally downloaded movie that Andy, Pam and Jim decide to watch at work. Jack Black, Jessica Alba and Cloris Leachman, and Pa

Undercover Boss

Jeff Neira /Landov/CBS

2010: Undercover Boss - "Waste Management" (Series Premiere)

The U.S. version of the this hit reality show showed the president and C.O.O. of Waste Management getting dirty alongside his employees by cleaning porta potties and collecting garbage.

Glee

FOX/Getty Images

2011: Glee - The Sue Sylvester Shuffle

Glee holds the honor of being the most expensive post-Super Bowl episode ever produced (costing between $3-5 million). Over 500 extras got involved for a Michael Jackson “Thriller” and Yeah Yeah Yeahs “Heads will Roll" mash-up that saw the McKinley High cheerleaders and glee club uniting to help win the football game.

THE VOICE

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2012: The Voice - "The Blind Auditions, Part 1" (Season Premiere)

The reality competition started its second season by expanding the contestants from eight artists on each team to 12.

ELEMENTARY

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2013: Elementary - "The Deductionist "

With 20.8 million viewers, it’s not difficult to deduce this episode scored big with a storyline that had Sherlock (Jonnie Lee Miller) working with an FBI profiler (Kari Matchett) to capture a serial killer.

NEW GIRL

FOX/Getty Images

2014: New Girl - "Prince"

The titular "Purple Rain" rocker (who once performed during Super Bowl Half-Time in 2007) guest starred as himself and gave Jess (Zooey Deschanel) an internal and external makeover.

Brooklyn Nine Nine

Eddy Chen/FOX

2014: Brookyln Nine-Nine - "Operation: Broken Feather"

The workplace comedy hit the big leagues when it scored 15.07 million viewers in its first season. This particular episode aired after New Girl and saw Santiago (Melissa Fumero) contemplating a career change, with Jake (Andy Samberg) convincing her to stay. Guest stars Dean Winters (returning as The Vulture), Adam Sandler and former Washington Redskins player Joe Theisman were also added to the mix.

Blacklist

David Giesbrecht/NBC

2015: The Blacklist - "Luther Braxton (No. 21)"

NBC’s latest crime procedural arrested the attention of 26.5 million viewers, garnering the biggest overall audience for a scripted series in over 10 years on the network. This first half of a two-part ep (which concluded a week later) had Reddington (James Spader) being placed in a high-security prison along with another inmate, Luther Braxton, whose goal was to kill Red and escape before a missile hit the site.

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