To say “The Josh Allen Show” was a TV hit Thursday night is an understatement.
The ratings for WKBW-TV’s (Channel 7) coverage of the Buffalo Bills’ 28-23 preseason loss to the Carolina Panthers soared in the second half when the Bills' top draft choice went in at quarterback.
The game had a strong 21.9 rating from 7 to 10:15 p.m. It is easily the highest-rated TV program of the summer and more than twice No. 2, NBC's reality series "America's Got Talent."
It also was about 14 percent higher than the 19.3 rating the Bills had for a 17-10 loss to Minnesota in the preseason opener last year in Sean McDermott's coaching debut.
The rating Thursday took a giant leap when Allen entered in the second half after quarterbacks Nathan Peterman and A.J. McCarron performed very well in the first half.
From 8:45 to 9:45 p.m., when Allen was in at quarterback in the second half, the rating grew to 25.0.
The rating slipped in the final 30 minutes, so some viewers missed Allen's first touchdown pass as a Bill.
Of course, it is difficult to credit Allen for the entire ratings gain in the second half. After all, more viewers were available later in the evening and some viewers may have joined to see if the Bills were going to win.
But undeniably, the rating for the time Allen was in at quarterback illustrate how excited the fan base is over the No. 7 pick in the National Football League draft and how interested fans are in seeing whether he has a shot to be a starter at some point this season.