Ahh, the sweet cleansing feeling of numbers. Zombie Simpsons scored the lowest season premier in its history last night, inflicting itself upon a mere 8.21 million people. The Cleveland Show, premiering directly afterwards, increased the ratings by more than a million people (to 9.42). (Family Guy itself checked in at 10.17 million.) There are at least a million Americans out there who’ve become so turned off by Zombie Simpsons that they didn’t even watch it while waiting for the latest from Seth MacFarlane. Excellent.
For historical comparison sake, here are the last five season premiers of Zombie Simpsons:
Season 16 (Treehouse of Horror XV) – 7 Nov 04 – 11.2 Million Viewers
Season 17 (The Bonfire of the Manatees) – 11 Sep 05 – 9.6 Million Viewers
Season 18 (The Mook, the Chef, the Wife, and Her Homer) – 10 Sep 06 – 11.5 Million Viewers
Season 19 (He Loves to Fly and He D’Ohs) – 23 Sep 09 – 9.43 Million Viewers
Season 20 (Sex, Pies and Idiot Scrapes) – 28 Sep 09 – 9.43 Million Viewers
It’s not the world’s most consistent downward trend, but it’s definitely moving in the right direction. Plus, Zombie Simpsons tends to start relatively strong in the fall and then peter out after New Year’s. (I like to think that its crappiness wears the audience down.) For example, last year the eight episodes broadcast before New Year’s averaged 8.66 million viewers; the twelve broadcast after New Year’s averaged only 6.17 million viewers. So a start of only 8.21 is encouraging, to say the least.
Of course, this is all pointless. The first time ratings are all but meaningless and we all know where the real money is made. But it is fun and I do like to see Zombie Simpsons humiliated.
As always, all numbers from the indispensable TV by the Numbers.