My double take on the 2/3 train today could hardly be contained when I read the following sentence in this morning's NY Post:
Last Saturday night, nearly 40 million viewers watched Phelps etch his name into the history books with his record eighth gold medal of the games - NBC's biggest Saturday night audience in 18 years (falling just short of a 1990 episode of "Empty Nest").Wait, seriously? An episode of Empty Fucking Nest snagged FORTY MILLION VIEWERS. And that's held up as the most watched Saturday night television event for NBC over the last two decades?! Baffling!
So I did some digging, and it turns out the number is closer to 31.5 million viewers, but still...we are talking about the Golden Girls spin-off with the silly dog licking that old dude's balls in the opening credits, right?
I don't care if that was the particular episode when the Westons' neighbor Sophia Petrillo came over and told Sicilian one-liners for an hour, or the one where sassy nurse Laverne gave equally sassy womanizing and food-eating neighbor Charley a softcore rusty trombone in the Floridian-style kitchen, that just doesn't make a lick of sense.
More than 30 million people? Shit, Arrested Development barely broke six million each week. I just can't see how 31.4 million people tuned in to decide whether they enjoy the cool sister more than the neurotic one, or whether that goddamn dog would be up to his usual hilarious antics and eyebrow-related hijinx, or whether Dr. Weston would once again be foiled by the twang of Laverne's southern drawl. Baffling!
Oh well. Best not think too deeply on this one. And I guess I'm being a bit harsh considering I was definitely part of Empty Nest's audience that night. It was probably fantastic.