truTV hit series Impractical Jokers staged a "Live Punishment Special" on Sept. 3 to mark 100 episodes, and 1.7 million viewers tuned in to see it on a live plus same-day basis. Add in three days' DVRed viewing of the special and an encore telecast the same day and the figure rises to 3.7 million, the Turner Broadcasting outlet said.
Even on a L+SD basis, the special, including a live high-wire stunt from South Street Seaport in New York City, did 42% better than this season four's premiere (1.22 million total viewers) and 89% ahead of the season-three finale (924,000 total viewers), the network said. The event nature of the special, though, added much to the recorded viewings.
The special drew lots of social-media chatter. truTV added up more than 150 million impressions across platforms and a surge (+348%) of traffic on the show's page on trutv.com. The heavily promoted special ranked third in Nielsen Twitter TV ratings, the network said. The #LivePunishment trend on Twitter generated more than 76 million impressions. More than 100,000 streams of video related to the special were viewed on Thursday, a quarter of that on Periscope, the network said.
All told, truTV said, the episode was the network's highest-rated telecast in more than 19 months and the highest-rated telecast among women 18-49 in more than two years.
“Our goal for the 100th episode was to provide a compelling live event which would celebrate the show and its fandom and bring attention to our most successful show,” Chris Linn, truTV president and head of programming, said in a release. “We are thrilled with the tremendous response to our first live event milestone.”
Photo credit: Andrew M. Pio Roda for truTV.