02/06/2018 10:56 EST | Updated 02/06/2018 11:00 EST

'This is Us' gets big boost from Super Bowl slot

NEW YORK — Super Bowl ratings may have been slightly down for NBC, but the network's entertainment division was buoyed by the showing of "This is Us" after the game.

The second-year drama scored with an episode that explains how the character of Jack Pearson, played by Milo Ventimiglia, died in the aftermath of a fire. The Nielsen company said the show was seen by just under 27 million people, its largest audience ever and the highest for any show with the coveted post-Super Bowl time slot in six years.

NBC's habit is generally to give its hottest entertainment show that slot when it telecasts the game. Three years ago, it was "The Blacklist," and six years ago it was "The Voice."