‘Lopez Tonight’ Hits 3.2 Million Debut

by | November 11, 2009 at 9:04 AM | TV News

If the goal was to take on Jay, Conan and Dave, a lot of work still needs to be done.

About 3.2 million viewers tuned into Monday night’s premiere of ‘Lopez Tonight.’ That’s a decent-sized audience, comparable to, say, the 4 million-plus viewers ‘Letterman’ averages, but it’s probably not one that ‘Lopez’ can be maintained night-in, and night out.

For one, premiere audiences for big, personality-driven late-night talk shows usually tend to be larger than what the show will actually get on a nightly basis – remember the 18.4 million viewers who tuned into ‘Leno’ back in early September?

For another, Turner Networks rolled out the premiere of ‘Lopez’ beyond its native TBS, doing simulcasts on TNT and truTV. Those two channels, which contributed nearly half of the show’s viewership Monday night, will go back to their regular 11 p.m. programming Tuesday.

Happily – or not so happily, depending on your perspective, ‘Lopez Tonight’s’ initial ratings rock… when compared to 12:30 telecasts of ‘The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson‘ and ‘Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.’ ‘Lopez’s’ delivery of the key 18-49-year-old demographic (he had over 1 million viewers in the category) beat the season averages of those shows.