'New Girl' Prince episode pulls in 26 million viewers

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The critics loved Prince on "New Girl" on Super Bowl Sunday, and now comes word that his appearance helped boost ratings for the struggling FOX sitcom.

According to The Associated Press, the Nielsen company Tuesday released final numbers for Sunday night's programming, which found that the episode was seen by more than 26.3 million people – 500,000 more viewers than Monday's preliminary estimate.

The show was preceded, of course, by the Super Bowl game that pitted the Denver Broncos against the Seattle Seahawks, which drew 112.2 million viewers to make it the most-watch television event in history. The final number for the Super Bowl came in 700,000 viewers above Monday's estimate.

Sunday's "New Girl" episode marked a significant spike in the viewership of the show, now in its third season. The Star Tribune says the sitcom, which stars Zooey Deschanel and Jake Johnson, usually draws "a disappointing 5 to 8 million viewers a week."

In the episode, Prince – playing himself – counsels Jess (Deschanel) about the concept of love after Nick (Johnson) unexpectedly utters the “L-Word” to her for the first time.

Radio.com says the Purple One hosted a post-Super Bowl and "New Girl" bash Sunday night at The Darby club in Chelsea, New York, which turned into a listening party touting samples from his upcoming album "Plectrum Electrum."

Partygoers also got to hear Prince's new song "Pretzelbodylogic," which he debuted in the "New Girl" episode.

Judging from the reviews and ratings, Prince clearly fared better than another Minnesota music legend on Sunday.

CNN says fans took to Twitter to declare Bob Dylan a "sellout" after Dylan appeared in a Super Bowl ad for Chrysler, and for his music being used in a Chobani yogurt commercial.

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