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20. 'Criminal Minds' (CBS), 26.314M
February 4, 2007 (Super Bowl XLI)
Hotchner (Thomas Gibson) and the rest of the team investigated the murders of a wealthy couple in their home following a Super Bowl party in this two-part episode.
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19. Davis Rules (ABC), 26.695M
January 27, 1991 (Super Bowl XXV)
It seemed like life was good for Randy Quaid's sitcom, in which he played a widower with three sons. It debuted to big numbers and even got costar Jonathan Winters his first Emmy for best supporting actor in a comedy series, at the age of 66. But ABC would cancel it in one season and it would move to CBS for the following year, as did the Super Bowl. There it lasted one more season, even after the additions of Bonnie Hunt and Giovanni Ribisi.
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18. Airwolf (CBS), 27.874M
January 22, 1984 (Super Bowl XVIII)
This was the two-hour pilot that introduced us to the helicopter stylings of one Jan-Michael Vincent.
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17. Homicide: Life on the Street (NBC), 28.121M
January 31, 1993 (Super Bowl XXVII)
Pembleton (Andre Braugher), Munch (Richard Belzer), and the rest of the fine folks at this Baltimore homicide unit (including Academy Award winner Melissa Leo) hit the screen with an episode that set up the series as the gritty urban drama it would live on as.
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16. The Wonder Years (ABC), 28.976M
January 31, 1988 (Super Bowl XXII)
All it took was one kiss between Winnie (Danica McKellar) and Kevin (Fred Savage) out in the woods in the first episode for us all to get hooked.
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15. House (Fox), 29.045M
February 3, 2008 (Super Bowl XLII)
In this season 4 episode, House (Hugh Laurie) not only treated Mira Sorvino's character via webcam since she was stuck in a research lab in Antarctica, but he also found out that Wilson was dating Cutthroat Bitch, er, Amber.
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14. The X-Files (Fox), 29.098M
January 26, 1997 (Super Bowl XXXI)
A cancer-craving headless body — yep, sounds like The X-Files. As Mulder (David Duchovny) and Scully (Gillian Anderson) investigated the case of Leonard Betts, we got some big hints that Scully herself had cancer.
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13. Grand Slam (CBS), 30.765M
January 28, 1990 (Super Bowl XXIV)
John Schneider and Paul Rodriguez's action/adventure series about two bail bondsmen lasted only two months after this pilot aired to awful reviews.
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12. Brothers and Sisters (NBC), 31.722M
January 21, 1979 (Super Bowl XIII)
No, not the one about a rich California family with lots of relationship issues. In this short-lived show, Chris Lemmon, Randy Brooks, and Jon Cutler played three goofy misfits living in the basement of a preppie fraternity house on a college campus. Yes, Animal House lite.
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11. Survivor: All-Stars (CBS), 33.535M
February 1, 2004 (Super Bowl XXXVIII)
A late-ending Super Bowl ate into the ratings for the return of some big Survivor names, such as Richard Hatch and Rupert Boneham (pictured), as two-thirds of the game's audience didn't tune in to see Survivor: Outback champ Tina Wesson become the first person kicked off in the season premiere.
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10. 3rd Rock from the Sun (NBC), 33.662M
January 25, 1998 (Super Bowl XXXII)
Like a lot of post-Super Bowl shows, the 3rd Rock crew set part of their show at the Super Bowl, where they fought to keep some hot-looking Venusians from using the ultimate beer commercial to enslave mankind. One of the gorgeous aliens? Cindy Crawford. We knew it.
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9. All in the Family (CBS), 35.472M
January 15, 1978 (Super Bowl XII)
As if airing after the Super Bowl wasn't enough, this episode decided to show some skin... from people like Caroll O'Connor and Rob Reiner. By this season, Archie owned a bar and thieves went after the huge Super Bowl-day register and forced just about everyone to drop their pants.
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8. The Voice (NBC), 37.611M
February 5, 2012 (Super Bowl XLVI)
In its second season kick-off, NBC's singing competition performed ratings alchemy, turning its prime time slot into the strongest ratings for a non-sports telecast on any network in six years. It was a coup for the Peacock, shades of Friends' 2004 finale. All hail the spinny chairs!
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7. Grey's Anatomy (ABC), 37.881M
February 5, 2006 (Super Bowl XL)
The first episode of this explosive two-parter left Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) with her hand inside a patient's chest trying to keep a homemade bomb embedded there from exploding, and saw Bailey (Chandra Wilson) go into labor and her husband get into an accident requiring brain surgery. Drama: promised and delivered.
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6. Undercover Boss (CBS), 38.6M
February 7, 2010 (Super Bowl XLIV)
Apparently, watching bigwigs work like regular folk and learn important lessons along the way is pretty appealing to all those regular folk. That's what we learned when millions tuned in to see Larry O'Donnell, President and Chief Operating Officer of Waste Management Inc. go to work at various jobs within his own company.
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5. The Last Precinct (NBC), 39.729M
January 26, 1986 (Super Bowl XX)
Adam West kept his title as king of campiness when he headlined this show about a precinct full of out-of-the-ordinary cops (an Elvis impersonator, a Superfly aficionado, a transsexual). Unlike Batman, this show didn't have much of a Pow! factor; it was canceled within two months.
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4. 60 Minutes (CBS), 40.746M
January 20, 1980 (Super Bowl XIV)
The TV news magazine had routinely clobbered competition in its time frame, so placing it after the Super Bowl was kind of a safe bet.
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3. Raid on Entebbe (NBC), 42.816M
January 9, 1977 (Super Bowl XI)
This made-for-TV movie, based on the real-life 1976 hostage crisis at Entebbe Airport in Uganda, was Peter Finch's final movie. Charles Bronson and Yaphet Kotto also starred.
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2. Survivor: The Australian Outback (CBS), 45.369M
January 28, 2001 (Super Bowl XXXV)
The second season of the series premiered to big numbers and would go on to be the most-watched season, as players like Tina Wesson, Colby Donaldson, and Jerri Manthey battled it out.
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1. Friends (NBC), 52.925M
January 28, 1996 (Super Bowl XXX)
While this episode was primarily about Ross (David Schwimmer) pining for (and going in search of) his former pet monkey, Marcel, it was more like a cavalcade of stars, with Brooke Shields, Chris Isaak, Julia Roberts, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Fred Willard, and Dan Castellaneta all appearing in the two-parter. Roberts memorably tricked Chandler (Matthew Perry) into wearing her underwear — and nothing else — in a restaurant bathroom. Cheeky.