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Posted at 05:45 PM ET, 12/18/2012

‘1600 Penn’ snags about 7.2 million people for sneak preview

NBC, the network that brought us “The West Wing” returned to the White House Monday night in a sneak preview of “1600 Penn.” NBC hopes the new comedy about a hapless First Family will fill the gaping holes about to be opened up on its schedule with the shuttering of “The Office” and “30 Rock.”

‘1600 Penn’: Bill Pullman as President Dale Gilchrist. (NBC - JORDIN ALTHAUS/NBC)
About 7.2 million people — slightly more than half of its “The Voice” penultimate episode leadin crowd — checked out the comedy’s first episode, in which all the air was sucked out of the White House by semi-idiot First Son, Skip, played by “Book of Mormon” star Josh Gad.

While that’s nowhere near the 11 million people the opening of NBC’s comedy “Up All Night” clocked last season when it followed an episode of reality series “America’s Got Talent” (which, BTW, is talking about Rosie O’Donnell about replacing Sharon Osbourne as a judge), which had scored 17 million viewers that night, the “1600 Penn” numbers are considered respectable, given that scripted shows and competition series don’t attract the same crowds.

And, viewers may not have been much in the mood, at this exactly moment in time, for a silly comedy about the president, his ridiculous family, and little school children visiting the White House.

By  |  05:45 PM ET, 12/18/2012

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