Conan returns -- with 4.1 million viewers
From The Associated Press:
The former host of “The Tonight Show,” who left NBC eight months ago, returned on Monday with a new talk show, “Conan,” premiering on basic-cable network TBS.
In the 11 p.m. Eastern hour, O’Brien’s opening night throttled his direct rivals on Comedy Central. “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” was seen by 1.3 million viewers, followed by “The Colbert Report” with 1 million.
But the curiosity factor clearly brought new viewers to the scene. Even against the debut of “Conan,” the “Daily Show” audience dropped by just 200,000 viewers from its season-to-date average for Monday episodes. Viewership for “Colbert” dropped by only 150,000 from its season-to-date average.
Conan beat Jay Leno, the host who reclaimed the “Tonight Show” chair from him. Starting at 11:35 p.m. Eastern, “Tonight” attracted 3.5 million viewers. But “Tonight,” which overlaps with “Conan” by 25 minutes, was down by just 100,000 viewers. Season-to-date, “Tonight” is averaging 3.6 million viewers, according to the Nielsen Co.
I tuned in only for the monologue (there's this thing they keep talking to me at work about called "deadline" that I was working against last night). But from what I saw of the show, it looks to be a much more cable-friendly flavor of Conan. A colorful joke about Brett Favre's recent ... indiscretions ... never would have made it to air on NBC. The format of the show and even the set reminded me of "Tonight" show Conan, so "Conan" may provide viewers with a less censored version of what they enjoyed on NBC. As is usually the case with new shows, Conan's viewership likely will drop off after the first week or so, but the show surely will be staying on for a while.
More Coco coverage:
-- Cheryl Sadler