In Live+Same Day, the supersized special episode of Matt Stone and Trey Parker’s venerable animated series drew 2.3 million total viewers and a 2.1 rating in the adults 18-49 demographic, the show’s highest L+SD demo number in seven years.
After three days of playback, the special’s viewership grew to 3.23 million, with the 18-49 rating rising to 2.89, the highest L+3 demo number for a South Park episode in four years.
The episode, which tackled the COVID-19 pandemic and skewered Disney, Donald Trump and cops, also ranked as the No. 1-rated ad-supported cable telecast of the year — scripted or unscripted — across key demos: men 18-49 (3.64), adults 18-34 (2.74) and 18-34 (3.34).
The Pandemic Special was simulcast on ViacomCBS sister Entertainment and Youth brands MTV and MTV2, amassing 4.05 million L+SD total viewers across the premiere on Comedy Central, the simulcast on MTV/MTV2 as well as the two encores that aired in primetime on Comedy Central. In L+3, the gross viewership grew to 5.3 million.
“We’re thrilled with South Park’s return and it’s clear the audience was as well,“ said Chris McCarthy, President, Entertainment & Youth Brands, ViacomCBS. “The success is a testament to Matt and Trey’s creative genius and we used our full portfolio to let everyone know it’s back — propelling it to the No. 1 cable telecast of 2020 and delivering its highest L+3 rating in four years.”
The Pandemic Special finds Randy seizing on a growing pot market and coming to terms with his role in the COVID-19 outbreak as the ongoing pandemic presents continued challenges for South Park’s citizens. The kids happily head back to school, but nothing resembles the normal that they once knew.
Comedy Central’s South Park, created by Parker and Stone, launched on August 13, 1997. Parker, Stone, Anne Garefino and Frank C. Agnone II are executive producers.