NBC's 'Night Court' Reboot Rules: Top Linear Comedy Debut of 2022-23 ... And Best First Day Yet on Peacock

Night Court on NBC
(Image credit: NBC)

After successfully rebooting Quantum Leap last fall, NBC is enjoying another prosperous trip down 1980s memory lane with its mid-season re-hoisting of half-hour comedy Night Court.

Recasting John Larroquette, who played Dan Fielding on the original Night Court from 1984-92, and putting Melissa Rauch behind the bench where the Honorable Judge Harry T. Stone once presided (played by the late Harry Anderson), the rebooted Night Court enjoyed the best comedy debut this season on NBC broadcast and its next-day pickup on Peacock streaming.

Debuting in broadcast on Tuesday with back-to-back episodes from 8 p.m. - 9 p.m., the initial run captured a 1.2 rating in the 18-49 demographic and 8 million total viewers.

The subsequent 8:30 airing drew a 1.0 demo rating and 7.2 million viewers -- always an encouraging sign when most of the audience sticks around to watch the second episode.

That performance represented the best premiere for a broadcast series this season, and it was the best comedy premiere for either broadcast or cable yet. (It's real hard to beat those Taylor Sheridan numbers for dramas on cable these days.)

Also, if you can believe it, that seemingly puny 1.2 was the highest demo for a comedy series since NBC debuted Dwayne Johnson vehicle Young Rock in the fall of 2021.

Happily for NBCUniversal, many denizens from its younger demos these days can be found streaming on Peacock, where on Wednesday Night Court had the best debut yet for an NBC series. NBC series episodes typically stream on Peacock the day after their NBC broadcast debut. 

Amid an active user surge by Peacock, Nielsen revealed this week that the service surfaced for the first time on its "Gauge" monthly viewership marketshare tracker, capturing 1% of all U.S. TV watching in the month of December. ■

Daniel Frankel

Daniel Frankel is the managing editor of Next TV, an internet publishing vertical focused on the business of video streaming. A Los Angeles-based writer and editor who has covered the media and technology industries for more than two decades, Daniel has worked on staff for publications including E! Online, Electronic Media, Mediaweek, Variety, paidContent and GigaOm. You can start living a healthier life with greater wealth and prosperity by following Daniel on Twitter today!