Arsenio Hall’s much-vaunted return to late night looks like it’s paying off... But with a caveat.
The Monday night debut of his new late night syndicated talk show beat every other competing broadcast talk show, with a 1.0 rating and a 4 share in the key adults ages 18 to 49 demographic, according to Nielsen.
And in Los Angeles, where the show is broadcast on the KTLA TV station, the show was No. 1 in its time period, with an excellent 3.2 household rating.
However, of course, this is only the beginning. Starting out with good ratings is fine, but how will he fare during the on-going weeks? It’s not like the old days when it was just him and Johnny Carson. There’s a lot of late night competition out there among talk shows (and don’t forget The Daily Show). The "nostalgia" thing he's banking on can only take him so far, and might turn against him in the long run.
Furthermore, another serious problem he faces will be getting good guests. Usually it’s easier to get big names as long as you’re doing well, but if the ratings start slipping, it's going to get much harder.
The next few weeks will determine if Arsenio’s show has a future or not.