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There's a lot of hype around 24: Legacy and whether or not the series will reach or exceed the expectations set by the original series. We're only one episode in, and pilots are notoriously hard to gauge in terms of overall show quality, but there's one thing we can certainly say about the series: It crushed during its first outing on the air. In fact, 17.6 million total viewers tuned in for the show's big premiere episode.
Of course, we should point out that the episode aired after the conclusion of Super Bowl LI, which is pretty much the cushiest TV spot during the year, despite the fact it often hits the schedule at an oddball time and airs in a post-primetime timeslot. A lot of people tune in for the Super Bowl and those who can stay awake afterward often stick around to catch whatever show the network airing the game is hyping. This year it was Fox and the launch was for 24: Legacy, the 24 spinoff that despite featuring the name 24 does not have any Jack Bauer. Instead The Walking Dead's Corey Hawkins leads the series, to mixed reviews.
Intriguingly, despite having the giant help that the post-Super Bowl slot gave it, that 17.6 million premiere, which nabbed a 6.1 rating in the advertising demo, is not the highest-rated episode of the 24 franchise ever. Per Deadline, the Season 5 premiere of the original 24 did a 7.3 rating although it saw slightly fewer viewers, only nabbing 17 million eyeballs. Still, it was way easier for shows to see massive numbers when there was little to no DVR and TV watchers weren't splitting as much time between network TV, cable TV and streaming services.
The average for 24: Legacy's first season will likely be skewed by the fact that there was a post-Super Bowl appearance, so it will be interesting to see how the upcoming episodes do and whether or not Fox will take into account the Super Bowl premiere when it is looking at the rest of the ratings for the first season for the show. I'm also interested to see how many people will catch 24: Legacy's premiere on other platforms, considering it aired after primetime. *Update: Fox's Monday outing of the series did a respectable 1.5 rating and 6.2 million total viewers. *
Still, no knocking on 24: Legacy. Enough people were interested in sticking around for the episode that it was Fox's highest-rated premiere since 2 Broke Girls first hit the schedule back in 2011. Odds are, people are planning to watch, even if the show doesn't do a 6.1 rating in the 18-49 demographic in the future. Fox still has a few other big premieres this TV season, including the return of Prison Break. To check out when those are hitting the schedule, take a look at our midseason TV premiere guide.