After three years of anticipation and two renewals for extra seasons before audiences even got to see the show, Dan Harmon’s adult animated comedy “Krapopolis” finally arrived with two episodes on Fox on Sunday night, bringing a solid audience with it.
An average 3.6 million viewers tuned in to the first episode of “Krapopolis” on Sunday night, according to Live + Same Day data from Nielsen. Titled “All Hail the Goddess of Likability!,” the premiere scored an impressive 1.2 rating among adults aged 18-49.
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As is typical, viewership dropped with Episode 2 of “Krapopolis,” which aired directly afterwards. Titled “The Stuperbowl,” the episode drew 1.8 million viewers on average, and a 0.5 among adults 18-49.
The “Krapopolis” premiere benefitted from airing directly after Fox’s telecast of the Kansas City Chiefs-Chicago Bears game. NFL games always offer significant boosts to the programming that succeeds them, and Sunday’s game provided particularly buzzy lead-in: Taylor Swift appeared to cheer on Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce, who she is rumored to be dating, which caused a frenzy online and may have led to a viewership bump.
“Krapopolis” also benefits from being the first new scripted series of the fall, as the WGA strike (coincidentally nearing its end as of Sunday night) and SAG-AFTRA strike have forced broadcasters to rely largely on unscripted programming and repeats. Unsurprisingly, it became the highest-rated entertainment program (i.e. excluding sports, news and awards ceremonies) of the week, and the first time an animated series has achieved that title since “Family Guy” premiered in 1999 (not counting summer premieres, when animated series tend to debut without competition from live action scripted programming).
This data makes Episode 1 the highest-rated telecast for an original comedy in 2023, beating the 1.0 record previously set by NBC’s “Night Court” reboot in January — though the “Night Court” premiere still had a much higher viewership total with 7.4 million. And across all entertainment telecasts, “Krapopolis” had the highest rated telecast since “Next Level Chef” scored a 4.9 when it aired directly after Fox’s telecast of the Super Bowl in February.
Fox also notes that this was the most-watched animation series premiere in the past ten years. Animated launches during that time frame include “HouseBroken” — Fox’s most recent animated series, which debuted to 1 million viewers and a 0.3 rating in 18-49, as well as “The Great North,” “Duncanville,” “Bless the Harts” and “Bordertown.” Fox is mostly only competing with itself in this arena, as the only broadcaster with primetime animated programming, while cable series have naturally lower viewership and streaming series are not included in these measurements.
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