Night Court, the NBC sitcom that was recently rebooted, enjoyed its heyday after its debut on NBC’s Thursday primetime schedule in 1984. But NBCUniversal is hoping the retooled comedy will lead Madison Avenue into the future. When the original program launched, built around star Harry Anderson as a non-traditional metropolitan judge, NBC sold ads against the debut broadcast of each episode as well as a rerun later in the season. Now, says Mark Marshall, the executive recently given wider oversight over NBCUniversal’s national ad sales, the company is selling broad-reach ads attached to the linear debut of each episode as well as targeted advertising that appears adjacent to the series when it streams on Peacock.
Leave it to a sitcom vet like Melissa Rauch to remind the industry that everything old can be new again. After persuading Warner Bros. TV to dust off Night Court and revive it for NBC, multi-cams are suddenly hot again, with every broadcast network — and even a few streamers like Netflix (home to new hit That ’90s Show, which just got renewed) are putting studio audience comedies in development.
NBC says that Night Court has reached an audience of 25.7 million in delayed viewing since it premiered on Jan. 17. The premiere episode ranked as the No. 1 broadcast premiere of the 2022-23 season in both the ad-friendly 18-49 demographic and in total audience. In total viewers, it raked in the most viewers for any comedy premiere since The Conners debuted on ABC in 2018. It was NBC’s best comedy premiere since Will & Grace in 2017.
The revival of the 1980s show is the most popular new sitcom in years. Even some of the people behind it are surprised by its early ratings success.
NBC, which already successfully rebooted Quantum Leap last fall, continues to drink from the 1980s well.
Night Court is officially in session. NBC has handed the follow-up to the classic legal sitcom a series order. The multi-camera comedy, which comes from Outmatched and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt co-EP Dan Rubin and The Big Bang Theory’s Melissa Rauch, was in the works in December. It scored a pilot order in May and will now make it to screens.
Katz Broadcasting’s comedy-themed multicast network Laff will add Night Court to its lineup starting Monday, Jan. 4, 2016. The show was a staple of NBC’s primetime lineup from 1984 to […]