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‘The Maya Rudolph Show’ Draws 7.2 Million Viewers – Did You Watch? Your Reactions?

'The Maya Rudolph Show' Draws 7.2 Million Viewers - Did You Watch? Your Reactions?

It did fairly well – actually even better than I expected it would, given what felt like a general lack of social media activity last night, while it aired. Not that there’s always a direct correlation between social media activity and TV ratings, but I’ve found the former to be a useful gauge of the latter, especially over the last year. 

But I detected very little conversation about the variety show on my social media feeds; Of course, it doesn’t mean that others who I don’t follow on Twitter, or who aren’t my Facebook friends, weren’t chatting about it. Clearly, many of you tuned in last night to check out NBC’s attempt to revive the variety show, via The Maya Rudolph Show, given its ratings. It also won the 10 pm hour among the top broadcast TV networks in total viewers and other key measures, according to Nielsen.

So, if you tuned in, what did you think?

I was sadly never really engaged by the show. It just didn’t hook me. Maybe the format is just not for me, and it’s not necessarily due to the talent involved, nor the content. It might simply be the structure of it. 

Or maybe I just didn’t find much of the humor funny, nor the musical numbers all-that pleasant. I wonder how musical theater folks are reacting to it, because it felt very much like something I’d instead expect to see live on stage, not on TV.

I’d also consider the possibility that the variety show format doesn’t quite work as well on TV anymore, like it once used to – notably during the 1960s and 1970s. I remember watching re-runs of The Flip Wilson Show as a kid, and being entertained by them. But I was a kid, and that was 30 years ago. It could be a style that’s past its time, and, in the long run, may only appeal to a select group of viewers. That’s likely something we may not find out, unless NBC decides to pick up the special and order it to series, as a weekly variety show. 

Granted, sketch comedy series like Saturday Night Live, In Living Color, and MADtv contain “variety show” elements, particularly musical performances and comedy sketches, and those are shows that I’ve watched in the past and enjoyed. But they don’t fully fall under the “variety show” umbrella; The most obvious difference being the lack of a single lead host (or hosts), as well as the presence of a large ensemble cast.

But I certainly didn’t hate it; I am a big fan of Maya Rudolph’s. And I did chuckle during parts of the “GPS parents” skit. But, overall, it just wasn’t for me. I found it rather dull, and just wasn’t fully engaged.

Whether last night’s ratings were enough for NBC to order another episode, we’ll have to wait to find out; As I said before, it may have acted as a test-run, and if a success, NBC would upgrade it to a weekly series.

The Maya Rudolph Show featured guest stars Craig RobinsonAndy SambergKristen BellFred ArmisenChris ParnellSean Hayes, and others.

Grammy Award-nominated singer-songwriter Janelle Monae served as the musical guest. R&b singer-producer Raphael Saadiq was bandleader.

What did you think of it?

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I LOVED it. I give it a solid B. I thought the GPS and doctor skits were funny, and I enjoyed the singing numbers. I would love to see Chris Parnell and Sean Hayes as regulars, as they both have the comedy chops for the variety format. I hope NBC orders this to series. One thing that is especially positive is that FAMILIES could watch this and parents wouldn't have to be embarrassed or worried about


Caught it on Hulu. Maya is talented, and she tried hard. With that said, she needs to ditch the cheesy SNL-style writing and make it more modern, and not in a tacky way la la the cringe-worthy "nuts/clams" skit. Sean Hayes was the only one who worked the format, had good comedy timing and looked comfortable. It seemed like other than the musical numbers, they didn't really give her sketch material that would let her shine. Kind of the second banana on her own show. If she was really working on this for over a year, they should've done better.

Also, she wasted an opportunity with having a band led by Raphael Saddiq that she didn't incorporate into any memorable jams. Janelle Monae' turned it out, though. Give HER a variety show.


Sorry to say, I wasn't feeling it…couldn't get past the first 15 min. of the show and I like Maya, she was definitely one of the bright spots on SNL and in the movies…but musical numbers were kind of corny and not well written and the rest just wasn't that funny to me.


I saw the whole show and expected better. It was hit and miss–mostly miss. She's talented but if the show comes back, I'll likely watch 5-15 minutes and if it's again not good, I'll change the channel or go to bed.


The show was just strange and the singing numbers were too long. The singing was obviously a tribute to the old variety shows like The Carol Burnett show and of that ilk, but I dont think younger audiences would have picked that up. I will watch it again to see if it improves.

Dave's Deluxe

Watched the show. Maya's okay, I spose. Could be funnier. I don't know. Maybe she needs to find her target audience.


Of course nbc will. They've been struggling in the ratings department


It was an okay show… I don't know if it was because it was the first show but there was unnecessary singing that could have been left out. I thought the Doc visit skit was funny and GPS skit was funny too. I like Maya Rudolph so I will watch again to see if this is something I would be interested in.

James M.

Dear Indiewire: How can I get a job writing for you? Anything would be better than this. Just terrible.


I didn’t mind a variety show at all–I was even looking forward to feeling nostalgic–however–this just didn’t do it for me. Maya is usually hilarious but here, she just didn’t deliver.

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