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TV Ratings: Late Start Dents Super Bowl Send-Off for ‘24: Legacy’

The first overtime game in Super Bowl history made for a late start for Fox’s “24: Legacy,” which narrowly edged out ABC’s 2003 airing of “Alias” as the lowest-rated entertainment program to follow the NFL’s big game.

24: Legacy” opened to 17.6 million viewers and 6.1 rating in adults 18-49, a modest showing given the 111.3 million who turned out to see the New England Patriots stage a near-miraculous comeback in the second half to prevail over the Atlanta Falcons.

Despite the Super Bowl’s coattails, “24: Legacy” didn’t begin until the ungodly hour of 11 p.m. on the East Coast.  Only “Alias” in 2003 and CBS’ “Elementary” in 2013 started their post-Super Bowl episodes later, at 11:15 ET, and both suffered mightily, with “Alias” being the nadir at 17.4 million viewers.

For Fox, the good news is that post-Super Bowl episode ratings and premieres seldom augur anything for a show’s success or failure; the real test will be tonight’s second installment.

Putting a positive spin on the situation, Fox noted that “24: Legacy” marks the highest-rated broadcast series debut since CBS’ “2 Broke Girls” in September 2011. That sitcom bowed on the heels of 28.7 million viewers tuning in to watch Ashton Kutcher’s introduction on “Two and a Half Men,” following Charlie Sheen’s highly publicized firing from the show.

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