February 5, 2012 at 6:56 am #238677
This is my list of the best Super Bowl lead-out prorgrams over the years.
10. Undercover Boss – “Waste Management”
Usual reality series gave us competition, but this show introduced a new kind of reality: real-life. It showed the hardships of the current economy and gave a voice to a level in our economic system that usually don’t get a voice. This lead-out premiere gave CBS the highest ratings for a show since the Survivor premiere in 2001.
9. Lassie – “The Road Back”
The second part of a four-part episode, The Road Back is one of the most iconic episodes in the series’ history. After lagging in the ratings, the 1970 episode re-introduced Lassie to America and provided a show that the whole family could sit around the television and watch.
8. The X-Files – “Leonard Betts”
After three season of lagging ratings, Fox took a leap of faith with The X-Files and landed firmly on their feet. It achieved high ratings which would carry over into the regular episodes and opened the floodgates of critical success as well.
7. Family Guy – “Death Has a Shadow”
The Simpsons had been the only real commercial and critical animated success for Fox, save King of the Hill. But when this show premiered we fell in love (if you can call it that) with a new family. Family Guy not only succeed in being loved by viewers but was also hated and having both is a one-in-a-million chance. So hilarious to some and revolting to others; creater Seth MacFarlane wouldn’t have it any other way.
6. Grey’s Anatomy – “It’s the End of the World”
In a cheesy medical soap-drama, you don’t get a lot of good, quality episodes. This is one of those rare episodes. It gave us drama, suspense, and one of the best cliffhangers of all-time. High ratings didn’t hurt as they propelled the show to its highest ratings ever. ABC’s last Super Bowl ended with a bang.
5. Malcolm in the Middle – “Company Picnic”
Though it didn’t even come close to achieving series high ratings, this two-part episode is probably the second-best in series’ history, right behind “Bowling.” It gave us a longer-than-usual look inside on the most messed-up families on television.
4. Friends – “The One After the Super Bowl”
Even though it was a hit already in its first season, the show needed to reach out to its one lost demographic: men. What better a way than the Super Bowl? In an iconic episode that achieved the highest ratings for the show ever (even beating out the finale) and creating a cloud of controversy. It was not in any way a well-received episode. Guest star Jean-Claude Van Damme was criticized for his performance and the overall episode was deemed really unfunny. That is why I believe it is one of the best.
3. Homicide: Life on the Street – “Gone for Goode (Pilot)”
This premiere wasn’t the highest rated, or the most buzzed about, but it stands out. It gave us one the most critically acclaimed procedurals of all-time. The show would be shaken up throughout its run by cast changes and production changes but this episode will always be remembered for introducing America to the grittiest show on TV.
2. The Wonder Years – “Pilot”
This show crossed the boundaries that dared not be crossed. In 1968, things were heated up with Vietnam and RFK and this pilot incorporated it all. It had funny moments and it had unusual sad moments, but they were both good. The show would run for only six episodes, all of which were critically acclaimed and won the show the Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy Series.
1. All in the Family – “Archie and the Super Bowl”
All in the Family is the best show of all-time with the best character of all-time. And this epsiode proved both of those facts almost as much as the episode with Maude. High ratings this late in a show’s run needs to be recognized and it was.February 5, 2012 at 10:14 am #238679
I absolutely loved The Office’s “Stress Relief” episode. After that episode, the show came crashing down.February 5, 2012 at 10:23 am #238680
The Grey’s Anatomy episode was excellent. I remember being pissed about the Seahawks/Steelers game (horribly officiated game that screwed Seattle…but, anyway), and the GA episode saved the day. I haven’t been able to watch the show since Meredith died and came back to life (the miracle surgeries beforehand? I was OK with that), but that episode (Christina Ricci and the bomb) was really incredible.
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