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Ratings update: Leno beats Kimmel in first face-to-face; soft opening for TBS’s ‘Cougar Town’

Jimmy Kimmel moves to 11:35 a.m. on ABC. CREDIT: ABC

Jimmy Kimmel moves to 11:35 a.m. on ABC. CREDIT: ABC

Jimmy Kimmel’s first 11:35 p.m. show on ABC last night opened at a solid 3.1 million viewers but fell short of NBC “Late Night With Jay Leno” by 200,000 viewers. He did beat his childhood late-night hero David Letterman on CBS by 200,000 viewers.

As noted in this Wall Street Journal story, one night hardly tells the story. This will be a long-term battle. Kimmel is two decades younger than Leno and Letterman and has been growing audience while the two elders have been gradually shedding viewers.

Kimmel’s show was moved back 25 minutes, as he swapped spots with “Nightline,’ which now airs at 12:35 a.m.

He also now competes fully or partly with Stephen Colbert on Comedy Central at 11:30 p.m. (1.54 million Tuesday night), Chelsea Handler on E! at 11 p.m. and Conan O’Brien on TBS at 11 p.m. (1.01 millon Tuesday)
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TBS’s opening of “Cougar Town” last night fell a little flat: 2.2 million viewers, less than the openings for “Men at Work” and “Sullivan & Sons.”

The lead-in repeat of ‘The Big Bang Theory” drew more viewers than any other basic cable show last night: 3.78 million viewers. But “Cougar Town” did do better than the 10:30 p.m. repeat of “Big Bang,” which brought in 2.02 million. When “The Big Bang Theory” aired at 10 p.m. last week on Tuesday, it drew 3.66 million viewers followed by 3.37 million on 10:30 p.m. This indicates “Cougar Town” didn’t bring back the “Big Bang” fans at 10:30 p.m.

We’ll see where it goes in future weeks.

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Go figure: “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” had its dullest episode of the season Sunday but still managed season high ratings of 3.7 million viewers, which is one of its best ever. This happened despite (or because) Bravo moved the show back an hour to 8 p.m.

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The “Honey Boo Boo” Halloween special scared up 3.08 million viewers on Sunday, better than any of its regular season performances to date.

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Neither TLC’s Atlanta-based “The Sisterhood” or “Totally T-Boz” did particularly well in their opening Jan. 1 episodes. (I don’t have last night’s numbers yet). “T-Boz” drew 937,000 viewers while “The Sisterhood” right afterwards pulled in 958,000 viewers.

Lifetime’s “Double Divas,” set in Kennesaw, looked more impressive. with 1.5 million viewers Jan. 1 in its opening salvo. But its lead-in was the ultra-powerful “Dance Moms,” which had 2.8 million. So it held barely half that audience. That’s not so great. The show goes to its regular time slot Jan. 10.

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4 comments Add your comment

Peter

January 9th, 2013
11:41 pm

Jennifer Aniston looked great on Kimmel’s show last night. Her legs are fantastic.

I think Kimmel will take the lead over both Letterman and Leno on a consistent basis within three months or less.

Highlander

January 10th, 2013
6:58 am

I’ve liked Jimmy since way back when he was “host” of “Win Ben Steins’ Money”.

And it’s time for Letterman and Leno to just let it go. They both have quite enough to retire on.

Eric

January 12th, 2013
9:08 pm

I’m aware of CBS renewing Letterman and Ferguson through 2014. It remains to be seen if Letterman is contemplating retirement when his current contract expires… and if Ferguson could be Letterman’s heir-apparent.

Not sure about how long Leno’s contract is good until. Many still haven’t forgotten about the recent Tonight Show debacle. Conan getting Tonight, and Leno getting short-lived primetime show that turned out to be a total bomb… then NBC pretty much gave Conan the boot, and put Leno back on Tonight. It’s unclear if Fallon could be Leno’s heir-apparent… because I seriously doubt that NBC would want Conan back, and I also doubt that Conan would even want back on Tonight.

Other than the Tonight Show debacle, we saw the recent Today Show debacle. Ann Curry getting the co-host position after Meredith Vieira left… a little over a year later, Curry got booted from the co-host position, then was quickly replaced by Savannah Guthrie, and many believing that Matt Lauer was in on it. With Jeff Zucker slated to take over at CNN in February, there appears to be speculation about Curry possibly considering leaving NBC to jump over to CNN.

I’m aware of Kimmel being moved to 11:35PM and Nightline being moved to 12:35AM… and I seemed to like Nightline at 11:35PM better. Nightline’s long-term future would be a different story.

Lamar

January 15th, 2013
3:39 pm

Cougartown sucks. When are people are going to figure this out? They let this crap continue yet they barely give shows a shot anymore like the Mob Doctor and 666 Park Avenue.