Conan Says Hello To 4.16 Million Viewers In TBS Debut

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Chalk one up for Team Coco.

As expected, Conan O'Brien's new late-night show opened big -- playing before more than 4 million viewers on averge during its premiere on TBS.
Conan averaged almost 4.16 million watchers on Monday night in the 11 p.m., according to Nielsen data. Included in that total were some 3.29 million of the Madison Avenue-coveted persons 18-to-49 set.

That gave Conan the Nov. 8 edge over CBS's Late Show with David Letterman and NBC's The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, which claimed 1.34 million and 952,000 of those viewers, respectively, as well as Comedy Central's 11 p.m. hour pair of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (687,000) and The Colbert Report (551,000). For its part, Lopez Tonight, benefiting from its Conan lead-in on TBS, notched 833,000 persons in the demo in the midnight hour, to finish fourth for the night with that group.

Conan Headshot

Conan, which featured guests and Seth Rogen, Lea Michele and guitarist Jack White, with whom O'Brien played a duet, also garnered a large number of younger viewers, with 2.45 million persons 18 to 34, as the premiere played before a projected median age of 30.
TBS said O'Brien has a strong following among younger viewers, and social media has proven to be a key way for him to connect with his fans. "Conan's audience has been very vocal online, and he clearly made a smooth transition from Twitter to TBS," said Steve Koonin, president of Turner Entertainment Networks, in a statement. "Conan delivered an extraordinary audience and stands out as the youngest late-night talk show on television."
On Nov. 9, Conan will feature Tom Hanks, Jack McBrayer and Soundgarden. Upcoming guests: Jon Hamm, Fistful of Mercy and Charlyne Yi on Wednesday; and Michael Cera, Julie Bowen and Jon Dore on Thursday.
While most observers anticipated big sampling for Conan coming out of the gate, the question will be at what level will show settle, particularly relatively to the 18-to-49 crowd. Some have suggested that TBS's target is a 1 million-plus average among those viewers. Last month, Comedy's The Daily Show, averaged 1.3 million against that demo, marking the first time someone not named Jay or Dave led with that group for a full month since at least 2000.
The following was the late-night performance for the new TV season through Halloween:

Late-Night Viewing In New TV Season

Network      Show               Median Age      Viewers            18-49s

ABC            Nightline           55.5                  3.83 million      1.27 million
NBC            Tonight Show   56.2                 3.64 million       1.29 million
CBS              Late Show       55                    3.57 million        1.19 million
Comedy       Daily Show     39.7                  2.07 million        1.19 million
Cartoon       Adult Swim      23                    1.9 3 million        1.15 million
CBS           Late Late Show 52.7                 1.78 million         687,000
ABC           Jimmy Kimmel  51.5                  1.78 million        696,000
NBC         Jimmy Fallon    49.7                    1.68 million         767.000
Comedy   Colbert Report 36.8                    1.43 million        898,000
E!             Chelsea Lately 35.9                     987,000              669,000
NBC         Last Call           47.7                    945,000               473,000

TBS          Lopez Tonight   35.3                   647,000              472,000

Source: Nielsen, from Sept. 20 through Oct. 31, 2010.

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