The Simpsons made history for FOUR on Sunday night, when a quarter of a million viewers tuned into the 500th episode of the hit animated series.
The Simpsons was FOUR’s most watched programme to date, with 240,500 viewers aged 5+ tuning into the much anticipated episode.
The episode was also a record-breaker in the channel’s target demographic, with 144,300 18-49 year-olds tuning in, a bigger 18-49 audience than any other programme on FOUR.
The Simpsons had a halo effect on the channel as a whole. Sunday night was FOUR’s biggest night since the channel launched in February 2011, with the primetime schedule (6pm-10.30pm) averaging a total audience of 166,500 (5+ demographic) and an 18-49 audience of 92,000.
Director of Programming, Kelly Martin, says she is very pleased to see the strategy for FOUR paying off in such a spectacular fashion.
“International entertainment like The Simpsons, New Girl, America’s Next Top Model and The Glee Project are key to FOUR’s success, and we will be premiering some great new shows on the channel in the coming months,” she says.
The gains are part of a long-term growth pattern for FOUR, which has seen the channel’s primetime viewer numbers grow by 40% since it launched on Waitangi weekend 2011.
In FOUR’s first month on air February it was watched by an average of 33,100 18-49 year olds, compared with 46,500 for April 2012.