TBS' new late-night talk-show "Lopez Tonight" had a standard -- if not under-performing -- start, reaching 1.7 million total viewers on the network for its debut night.
"It probably wasn't as high a base as they would like it to be," says Brad Adgate, senior vice president and corporate research director of independent media-buying agency Horizon Media.
As with many TV debuts, media agency analysts anticipate a drop-off of viewership in forthcoming episodes. For example, NBC's "The Jay Leno Show" had a similar -- and expected -- downward trajectory.
"Those numbers will probably drop as the curiosity factor is satisfied," says David Scardino, entertainment specialist for Santa Monica, Calif.-based media agency RPA. "That said, I think [George] Lopez's comedy is actually more mainstream... There's potential, for sure. We'll have a better idea in three or four weeks."
By way of comparison, for the week ending Oct. 30, CBS' "Late Show With David Letterman" pulled in around 4.0 million viewers; ABC's "Nightline" grabbed 4.0 million viewers; NBC's "The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien" reached 2.4 million viewers; and ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live" was seen by 1.7 million viewers.
Among later-evening talk shows, NBC's "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" scored with 1.3 million viewers, while CBS' "Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson" had 1.8 million viewers.
Turner Broadcasting had some heavy promotion for the show, including concurrently airing the premiere across other big Turner networks, TNT and truTV. TBS scored 1.7 million viewers, TNT reached 1.0 million viewers and truTV had 500,000.
Across all three networks, the show earned 3.2 million viewers and 1.8 million adult 18-49 viewers. On TBS alone, "Lopez" grabbed 1.02 million 18-49 viewers, and 608,000 18-34 viewers.
Steve Koonin, president of Turner Entertainment Networks, stated: "We are extremely proud of the success of last night's premiere of "Lopez Tonight" and are confident the show will continue to be a big late-night hit."