“The Arsenio Hall Show“ returned to late night TV with a bang on Monday, as fan viewership lifted the debut of the new syndicated show to the top of the late-night ratings in the biggest 25 cities.
These early ratings are limited in reach and don’t include total viewer totals, but the numbers are evidence that Arsenio Hall’s 20-year hiatus from late-night TV hasn’t damaged his ability to draw viewers.
In the 25 cities, “The Arsenio Hall Show” averaged a 1.0 rating in the sought-after demographic of viewers between the ages of 18 and 49.
That rating was bigger in those cities than Jimmy Kimmel on ABC (0.8); Jay Leno on NBC (0.6); or David Letterman on CBS (0.5). In Los Angeles, where the show is broadcast on the KTLA TV station, the show was No. 1 in its time period, with an excellent 3.2 household rating.
Of course, this is only the beginning and the show’s initial ratings pale in comparison to first-night numbers for other late-night rivals, who scored several times as high in the ratings for their premiere shows.
For example, as the New York Times reports, “when Conan O’Brien took over the “Tonight” show in 2009 he attracted over nine million viewers and scored a 3.8 rating that 18-49 group.”
Hall will have to remain close to those numbers to compete with the other late-night talk shows for top-tier guests. He has already proven that he remains likable and is good at his job. The next few weeks will determine if Arsenio’s show has a future or not.