The two-episode premiere of Night Court ushered in some impressive ratings for NBC.
The workplace comedy series, which is a reboot of the original series created by Reinhold Weege that ran for nine seasons in the 1980s, debuted with back-to-back episodes on Tuesday. The first episode delivered the highest-rated and most-watched program of the night with a whopping 1.0 rating in the advertiser-targeted 18-49 demographic, according to fast national Nielsen numbers.
That’s a feat that no network show has managed this season without an assist from an NFL lead-in, and the number is likely to go up slightly when final live+same-day numbers are available on Thursday (Nielsen data is delayed this week due to Monday’s MLK holiday). The episode also managed 7.4M total viewers.
The second episode, which aired at 8:30 pm, was the No. 2 program in both ratings and viewership on Tuesday. It dipped slightly to a 0.9 demo rating, which is still very high for even an established broadcast series. The episode averaged 6.7 million viewers.
The back-to-back episode premiere equated to the highest total viewers for any comedy premiere since The Connors premiered on ABC in 2018 and the best on NBC since Will & Grace in 2017. It’s also by far the top broadcast premiere of the television season, and the top comedy premiere across both broadcast and cable.
Night Court centers on unapologetic optimist judge Abby Stone, the daughter of the late Harry Stone (originally played by Harry Anderson), who follows in her father’s footsteps as she presides over the night shift of a Manhattan arraignment court and tries to bring order to its crew of oddballs and cynics, most notably former night court prosecutor Dan Fielding, with John Larroquette reprising his role.