Will Ferrell gives 'The Office' a ratings raise; Paul Reiser's new sitcom flops


Image Credit: NBC

The debut of Will Ferrell on NBC’s The Office gave the comedy a ratings raise Thursday night. The Office introduced Ferrell’s potential Michael Scott replacement Deangelo Vickers and delivered 7.7 million viewers and a 3.9 adult demo rating — up 15 percent from the show’s last original episode. The Office was the night’s top-rated scripted show and sported the highest rating for the series since late January. (Though having CSI and Grey’s Anatomy in repeats couldn’t have hurt either).

The boost is also impressive considering the comedy’s poor lead-in — Paul Reiser’s new sitcom.No way to sugarcoat this: The show tanked. Debuting at 8:30 p.m., The Paul Reiser Show was seen by only 3.3 million viewers and had a 1.1 preliminary adults 18-49 rating, ranking as the lowest-rated show on a major broadcast network. That’s down 48 percent from the premiere of the now-defunct Perfect Couples in the slot, and fell 21 percent from its Community (3.5 million, 1.4) lead-in. And that’s also with CBS’ rival sitcom Rules of Engagement airing a repeat (which still beat Reiser).

Elsewhere Thursday: American Idol (20.9 million, 6.1) won the night, tied with last week, while Bones (11.9 million, 3.7) spiked 16 percent.

Read more:
‘The Office’ recap: Somehow, He Manages
‘American Idol’ recap: Guy’s Night Out

Comments (131 total) Add your comment
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  • aldaryn

    I hope this convinces them to run Perfect Couples a bit longer. I felt like after stumbling the first few episodes it was really finding a groove. Just look at the first season of HIMYM – no sitcom really clicks until you know the characters’ idiosyncrasies, and you have to build those first. It deserves a second season.

    • lefty

      I’d disagree. I always cite HIMYM as an example when I love a show immediately. It can happen! (although I am glad I gave Cougar Town, Parks and Rec, and Community second chances).

      • Tom

        I know all his movies by heart

    • Daw Johnson

      How I Met Your Mother has never been as good as it was in the first season, so weird comparison.

      The Office is a better one, although part of that problem is that they were too stiffly trying to recreate the English version. The actual humor was still leaps and bounds above Perfect Couples.

      But, ultimately, if one of those darkhorses gets renewed on Thursday, it’ll be Outsourced not Perfect Couples.

      • aldaryn

        I didn’t mean the whole season so much as the first few episodes – once you knew who was who and their quirks, the inside jokes began to fly and the show became hilarious. PC was getting there.

    • The Man

      Perfect Couples and Paul Reiser show were both TOTAL GARBAGE.

      • Shamus N.

        And so is Outsourced. End it.

      • Fat Charlie

        Wow, the Outsourced haters are like the left/right wing people on all news site comment boards.

        This has NOTHING to do with Outsourced beyond the superficial coincidence that they’re on the same night, but somehow you shoehorn your argument in anyways.

        It’s more than a little ridiculous. I blame it on ObamaCare.

      • Eric

        Outsourced is terrible. Worst show on NBC Thursday night, well besides that turd that played at 8:30 last night. I could not watch 2 minutes of it. Perfect couples was at least nice filler. Please bring back last years lineup, Community, parks, Office and 30 Rock. 30 Rock at 10pm is too late for such a fast paced show.

      • Dave-O

        Eric – You are soooo right! Community, parks, office, and 30 rock!!! Best lineup ever!

      • SS

        I still like Outsourced.

    • DrGirlfriend

      @aldaryn- I TOTALLY agree with you. I enjoyed Perfect Couples, and was so disappointed that they wouldn’t even let it get a good run before replacing it with something far worse. I changed the channel between Community and The Office, which is a shame. I’m not interested in Paul Resier’s show in the least, and I think NBC was C-R-A-Z-Y to think that the coveted 18-30 crowd (I’m 24, btw) would care about Paul Reiser. Frankly, it seemed like a more-lame version of Curb Your Enthusiasm. Not impressed. Not interested.

      • Allyson

        completely agree with this statement. I would just like to add, I did not tune into The Office to see Will Ferrell, I tuned in to see Steve Carrell’s last couple episodes. Sad, but I think The Office might pull through will a smart replacement.

    • PN

      Sometimes it takes 8 to 12 episodes for a show to gel and the characters to blend well. I’ve had that with the comedies I started seeing–it took a while for most of them to get a good story in the plot of the shows.

    • Ricky

      Paul Reiser? Yawn.
      A self-indulgent title of “The Paul Reiser Show?” Yawn.
      No one cares. Cancelled.

  • bamalam

    Community only got 3.5 viewers!? That’s a crime!

    • Ada

      I worry that Community is going to get cancelled because it’s ratings are so meh. It’s one of the funniest shows on TV right now (right behind Parks & Rec and next week COUGAR TOWN)

      • Larry

        Community was picked up already for a third season.

      • Rick

        I’m a big fan of Amy Poehler, but Parks and Rec is absolutely HORRIBLE. I can’t believe it made it past the first season. I have panic attacks when Cougar Town comes on and I can’t find the remote.

      • Bruce Wayne

        Rick…you couldn’t have captured the spirit of Cougar Town more perfectly. That’s why I always have the remote in-hand 5 mins prior…just to make sure.

      • Sarah O

        Can’t stand Cougar Town.

  • Dani C

    Now that that’s all over. can we please bring back Perfect Couples? I’m kind of obsessed w/this show, and would love another season!!

    • Sarah

      YES! we should start a “Save Perfect Couples” facebook page

    • DrGirlfriend

      I’m in! I loved Perfect Couples!

    • Devo

      Thank you!! PC started off with a bang… slipped a lil bit… but has really shined the past few weeks. I’m so glad to see that TPRS tanked. I gave it 5 minutes and felt the “jokes” were forced and had to turn it off. The whole thing just felt uncomfortable. PC should not have been the sacrificial lamb for TPRS.

    • Jeremy Sheer

      says the fan of charlie sheen and two and half men.

  • Dan_Silver

    I would have to say that NBC is to blame because I have not seen one ad for the Paul Reiser Show. If you are putting up the money to make a show then put up the money to get its name out there.

    • ST

      I’ve seen the ads but it’s only been within the last week or so (not really much build up imo). I totally forgot about it but I heard it wasn’t very good (a shame b/c i think Paul Reiser is talented). I kind of liked Perfect Couples…

    • Marc

      Yep, haven’t seen a single promo for the Reiser show until all the news about it tanking came about.

      • captain obvious

        Never knew he had a show coming out. its not april fools day still is it?

  • mikeman

    why they got rid of perfect couples when outsourced is still on is beyond me. nbc deserves to fail.

    • Allyson

      didn’t even know that outsourced was still running. wow.

  • ben

    They don’t know good television (in Community’s sense). The PRS is boring. But what did P&R do?

  • jrs

    “Paul Reiser’s new sitcom flops”. Wow, what a shock…dumba** NBC programmers. Duh, losing

  • Tiffany

    I watched the Paul Reiser Show. I think that is has potential, it was basically a clean version of ‘Curb’ and that is alright. The show just needs to hit its stride. Not every comedy is going to be side splitting right off the bat. ‘Parks and Rec’ is a prime example.

    • mikeman

      that’s one of the reasons it was so crappy, it was a way, way too watered down curb your enthusiasm.

    • Crystal

      It reminded me of Curb (and they almost directly stated that it was a version of Curb with Larry David . . . which was weird), but it didn’t have the same feel. I’m pretty sure it’s scripted (which changes the tone and feel) and Paul Reiser is nowhere near as interesting as Larry David. I gave it a chance, it sucked.

  • Lucy

    Paul Reiser show flopping doesn’t mean they should bring Perfect Couples back. It was getting 2 million viewers for goodness sake. No show that get less than 3 million should be renewed by a major network, not even NBC, and it went down on its last episode. So less people were watching, not more.

    • mikeman

      and it was still doing better than prs did

  • lefty

    I think Jessi Klein summarized it best: “I am very excited to see this new show about the ghost of Paul Reiser.”

  • iggy

    I wish NBC would dump Paul Reiser and Outsourced, run Community, The Office, Park & Rec, and 30 Rock from 8:00-10:00, and them run Parenthood from 10:00-11:00.

    • Dr. Linus

      Wow that sounds fantastic to me iggy. I like that lineup.

    • K

      I bow at your scheduling greatness. You have it completely right!

    • Larry

      Excellent! And Parks & Rec should anchor the 9pm hour. It’s consistently funnier than “The Office”.

    • Tom

      Great idea- though I’d move Community to 8:30 slot so it doesn’t have to compete with the Big Bang Theory and make 30 Rock the lead-in

      • Anna

        I agree Tom. TBBT and Community are my two favorite shows. I’ve missed TBBT this year because I’ve been loyal to Community, but I wish I didn’t have to choose.

      • Crystal

        It was an easy decision for me: mediocre middle-of-the-road sitcom about stereotypes or Community.

    • PN

      Dramas just don’t do well at 10 pm on Thursday for NBC. They’ve ranked 3rd place for past dramas in that time slot.

      • Anna

        Well except for ER! That was still top ranked long after the show had jumped the shark.

  • Mike B

    The Office gets 7.7 million viewers and it is ok. Harry’s Law gets the same amount and it is on the bubble? What is wrong with NBC? Paul Reiser show? Are they kidding us? NBC is so bass akwards.

    • James Hibberd

      Many sites misreport ratings. Total viewers are almost meaningless for entertainment shows (sports are different), it’s all about adult demo, since that’s what ad sales is priced on — Harry’s Law viewers are older. I still like to include viewers to give people an idea how many are watching since a demo number is pretty tough to understand

    • Dave

      Because Harry’s Law does much worse in the all-important demo ratings.

      • Mike B

        Ok. I’m lost. Did 7.7 million watch or not? When the Super Bowl has 100 million viewers they say nothing about the demo. No matter how you look at it that is how many watch. I don’t care how old a person is.

      • Dave

        Mike B, you may not care, but advertisers do. That’s just the way it works, like it or not.

  • LOL

    Sad about the ratings for Community. The Office and Parks and Recreation both hit home runs last night. 30 Rock is slipping badly. Barely any laughs.

    • J

      By “Home Run” I assume you mean awful, boring, pedantic, infantile, etc…

      Also, the ratings jump maybe had more to do with not competing against the NCAA tournament, than Will Ferrell.

      • Loch Ness

        The Office and Parks and Rec were wonderful last night. What a shame that you couldn’t enjoy them.

      • CW

        Agreed, the office was horrendous.

      • John

        Love Will Ferrel (most of the time) and used to love The Office, but last night’s episode was terrible, shockingly bad in fact. I’ve come to my own conclusion that Ferrel is funny when he plays the innocent lug, not the cool, mean middle-manager.

      • Crystal

        The Office was horrible. Every week I feel like I’m giving it yet another chance, and it just keeps disappointing me. If they don’t make a good choice for the boss next season, I will not be watching. As for Community, Parks and Recreation, and 30 Rock: Community was really disappointing, but I’m not going to hold one bad episode against them; Parks and Recreation was charming, surprising, and sweet!; 30 Rock is consistently good (not the best episode, but it still made me laugh.)

    • Mike

      I totally agree about 30 Rock slipping too. Where’s the funny gone? Just spin off a new show about Tracy & Kenneth with some cameos by Alex Baldwin. And hire some new writers because this season is tough to watch. I already removed Community from my DVR for the same offense this season. Last season was so much better and laugh out loud funny. And I must be the last guy watching Outsourced but I have to admit I like it. Great ensemble cast and not some recycled rip-off of another program that we see so often. The Office is still funny but I really can’t see Will Ferrell leaving the movies for prime time even if his last few films kinda sucked.

      • Bobbo

        I’m starting to tire on Community a bit. It hasn’t had an especially strong second half of the season. Sort of a bizarro season 1. All of the funny eps that season were in the 2nd half.

    • Larry

      Community is losing viewers because they don’t have a decent follow-up show. The same is happening with Modern Family.

      • tina

        i don’t know about that. community isn’t the worse show i’ve ever seen but it’s so one note. they go to community college and that’s it. it’s like if “friends” never left the coffee shop. there have been some decent/ good epis like the halloween show but otherwise it’s a whatever.

      • Bobbo

        Community certainly is NOT one note. If anything it’s a little TOO all over the place. If you think its just a show about people at a community college you haven’t been watching close enough.

    • Lee Harvey

      The Steve/Will dynamic was solid gold on The Office last night. Loved it.

    • PN

      I think the ratings jump for the Office may not be just about Will Ferrell, but because these are some of Steve Carell’s final episodes. And people want to watch every last moment of Steve and his character on the season’s final shows. His movie career has really eclipsed his TV’s with a few box office hits, so that’s why he’s leaving the show.

  • Dan

    I agree about 30 rock slipping badly…I actually think its been a bad year for most of my tv shows…Ive kinda given up on 30 Rock, House, Bones and my oldy but goody Chuck has lost its way a bit this season….I 30 rock is in trouble because all of the characters have kinda run there paths…Not much more they can do…At least we still have Fringe!

    • Larry

      Come back to House. With 13 back, the old spark may happen again.

    • Crystal

      I still think 30 Rock is hilarious, but I agree that the next season should be the last. Fey knows when to end a good thing.

  • Jack

    I love Community. Paul Reiser is a
    dinosaur. Bring back Perfect Couples. It was just starting to get a foolowing.

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