Two And A Half Men

Two And A Half Men

Two and A Half Men might have seen a drastic ratings drop in the states this year and still be uniformly unpopular with the critics, but it remains the most viewed comedy Stateside.

With the latest series of the show coming to Comedy Central tonight, we have a look at whether fans should be worried over the show’s figures.

Last year the show not only had had a massive 28.7 million viewers in the U.S. but also broke not Comedy Central’s record viewers, with over 800,000 tuning in to see Ashton Kutcher’s arrival.

Since then though, it’s not been plain sailing for the Chuck Lorre flagship, with the rest of the season flagging to around half of that number, with around 13 million tuning in each week.

Despite losing half its viewers since Ashton Kutcher’s debut appearance on the show, Two and Half Men is still the biggest ratings winner when it comes to U.S. sitcoms, although it’s now only the odd million ahead of fellow Chuck Lorre CBS show The Big Bang Theory.

But let’s put that into context though.

Back in the 1990s, the sitcom was the ratings king, with the biggest comedies consistently bossing the ratings charts.

The very worst rated episodes of Friends came in a just under 19 million viewers, with the show averaging over 24 million viewers at the peak of its powers and hitting an astronomical 52.5 million viewers for its finale.

That can’t match the ratings The Cosby Show had though, with the ground breaking comedy storming to over 30 million viewers on average for its third and fourth seasons, with Cheers also hitting an average of over 20 million from seasons four until nine.

Two And A Half Men might be the biggest kid on the playground right now, but compared to America’s greats it pales in comparison numbers wise.

It’s not just Two And A Half Men though that’s feeling the pinch when it comes to viewership. Critical darlings Community and Parks and Recreation are only getting around four million viewers and even with Hollywood star Zooey Deschanel  attached New Girl only managed around 8 million.

Comedies with those sort of figures used to be cancelled in the 80s and 90s, and it says a lot that now executives are more than happy with those figures, thanks more than a little to new technologies.

The rise of Tivo and recordable TV has made viewing figures skewed, as a huge amount of the TV watching public now doesn’t want to live by the scheduling of networks and channels. The rise of internet piracy in the last decade has also had an impact on ratings, with viewers now taking to the web to watch shows they miss on TV, or don’t want to pay for.

In a day and age when technology has made the old ratings methods feel more out-dated than ever before, that Two And A Half Men can still produce ratings of over 15 million each week going into its tenth season is a massive achievement.

FemaleFirst Cameron Smith

by for
find me on and follow me on