The Last O.G., Tracy Morgan’s triumphant return to television that also stars Tiffany Haddish and is executive produced by Jordan Peele, premiered on Tuesday on TBS, and it already broke major ratings records. The comedy drew 1.8 million total viewers, with 882,000 in the all-important 18-49 demographic in live plus same-day streaming views. That’s not only the biggest cable comedy premiere since 2016, it’s also the largest scripted cable comedy premiere since 2015. Perhaps even more impressive is the fact that it’s also the strongest TBS original debut ever, according to both the network and Nielson, as Deadline reports.
When the viewer numbers take into account streaming numbers for the next seven days after Tuesday’s premiere, the total number is expected to reach 1.252 million. But that’s not all: more than 6.9 million total viewers watched the show over a three-night, five-telecast launch on TBS and TNT, which followed the NCAA Final Four tournament.
TBS must be laughing all the way to the bank after these results, as the network picked up the series only after FX (home of Donald Glover’s Atlanta, which has smashed ratings records of its own this year) passed on the pilot in the script stage. TBS redeveloped the show, and now it’s a major hit.
The Last O.G. is the story of Tray (Morgan), a former con who leaves prison after a 15-year sentence to a modern, gentrified Brooklyn where his former girlfriend, Shay (Haddish) has married to a white dude. Tray also finds out that while he was in prison, he became a father to twins, who Shay is now raising with her new man. With the comedy chops of both Morgan and Haddish, it’s one of the best new comedies on television.
The show also marks Morgan’s return to television after surviving a six-vehicle crash that killed his friend and comedian, James McNair. The 30 Rock star was in a coma for two weeks but eventually recovered from his traumatic brain injury and is now returning to show business again. Besides The Last O.G., he’s got a Netflix comedy special titled Staying Alive, and he’s also signed on to star in a movie alongside Taraji P. Henson, set to drop in 2019.
Tiffany Haddish is also starring in another comedy, Night School, this time alongside Kevin Hart, set to premiere in theaters in September.