Matthew Perry‘s return to NBC played out rather well Wednesday night — even though it didn’t really count.
The network ran a commercial-free preview of Perry’s new comedy “Go On” after its Olympic coverage ended Wednesday (Aug. 8), and a pretty large number of people stuck around to watch it. The episode, which began at 11:06 p.m. ET, drew 16.1 million viewers and a 5.6 rating among adults 18-49.
The show had a lead-in audience of about 30 million people with the end of the Olympics broadcast, but considering it started after prime-time, that’s still pretty good retention.
The numbers for “Go On” would make it the most-watched episode of any NBC comedy in several years — if they counted. Because the show aired without ads, it won’t be counted in the Nielsen rankings for this week or included in the show’s season average.
“Go On” will have its official premiere at 9 p.m. ET Tuesday, Sept. 11. An audience anywhere near what it drew Wednesday will probably make NBC pretty happy.