Conan O’Brien could end his basic cable comeback this morning and consider the whole experiment a wild success.
The Monday, November 8 launch of TBS’ “Conan” drew a whopping 4.155 million viewers, topping all of O’Brien’s late-night competition on the networks and cable.
That’s impressive enough, but TBS is eager to boast about not just the sheer volume of the “Conan” audience, but also its youth. The overall viewership includes 3.285 million viewers among adults 18-49, a group that includes 2.451 million viewers between 18-34.
The audience for the “Conan” premiere, which featured Seth Rogen, Lea Michele and Jack White as guests, had a median age of just 30.
“The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” drew only 3.5 million viewers, while “Late Show with David Letterman” stood at 3.4 million in early estimates. Neither network show was even within sight of “Conan” among young viewers.
Does anybody expect “Conan” to equal those numbers in the days and weeks to come? Of course not. But for now? TBS is happy.
“Conan”s audience has been very vocal online, and he clearly made a smooth transition from Twitter to TBS,” gushes Turner Entertainment Networks President Steve Koonin, somewhat stealing one of Conan’s jokes. “Conan delivered an extraordinary audience and stands out as the youngest late-night talk show on television.”
The second episode of “Conan,” with guests Tom Hanks, Jack McBrayer and Soundgarden, airs on Tuesday.