Maya Rudolph’s first primetime special drew a sizable audience Monday, with approximately 7.2 million viewers watching the former SNL star’s attempt to resurrect the variety format. It helped that The Maya Rudolph Show followed The Voice, of course, but Rudolph’s effort held on to about two-thirds of the 10.7 million who watched NBC’s hit singing competition (that’s a good thing). Among viewers under 50, Maya also did nicely, scoring a 2.2 rating and easily beating direct time-slot rival The Bachelorette (1.9 rating), plus Fox’s 9 p.m. entry, 24: Live Another Day (1.7 rating) and CBS’s season finale of Mike & Molly (1.9 rating). Perhaps most importantly, Maya nearly doubled the demo performance of NBC’s last stab at variety, 2008’s ill-fated Rosie O’Donnell special, which averaged an anemic 1.2 rating back in November 2008. While the numbers for Maya weren’t extraordinary or eye-popping, they were pretty good. If NBC wants to get back in the variety business, these ratings would justify such a decision.
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