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Arsenio Hall’s Return To Late Night Gets Solid Ratings (So Far…)

by Sergio
September 11, 2013 8:20 AM
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Arsenio Hall

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.

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  • CareyCarey | September 11, 2013 4:33 PMReply

    Okay, I think it's Old School Wisdom Time, the name of the game is cope and hold, not cope and blow. Listen, cat dookie stands out in a room of look-alike hamheads, but who's sticking around to smell that mess? I am suggesting that on some occassions, and in some environments, being "different" could be just what the doctor ordered. However, booking Steve McQueen on Arsenio's show is as wise as betting on a one legged man in an ass kicking contest.

    Remember, the name of the game is cope and hold, and it's obvious some folks are showing up out of curiosity or whatever, but who the hell is Steve McQueen and how will he entertain the audience? Yeah, that's right, quick... go outside, ask the next 20 people you see who the hell is Steve McQueen and watch the look on their face.

    Then, if by happenstance one in a million in Arsenio's crowd has seen his films "Hunger" and that sex flick (what was it's name?) could someone please tell me what Steve would do or talk about that would be soooooo entertaining? I mean, as Sergio said, Arsenio could do what he does best "lick his ass until holes wore through his tongue", that's edgy and exciting in JEFTCG's world, but who else finds that entertaining?

    Seriously, folks watch the Lettermans, the Fallons, the Craig Fergusons the Wendy Williams and the Monique shows for entertainment, period. On the other hand, again as Sergio has suggested, the guests may have some information, projects, agenda, etc, they'd like to pass forward, but they will be very cautious in determining in whether or not Arsenio's couch is the best place to drop their news.

  • CareyCarey | September 11, 2013 6:10 PM

    Great point, Sergio. In Queen Latifah's guest list there's exciting (current) entertainers, and for many, a little eye candy. Not slow talking Magic Johnson, W.C. Field's nose over the hill George Lopez (yes, he looks like he has had one too many), nor dry Mark Harman (what has he done lately?) nor once upon a time Earth Wind and Fire.

    Btw, where is JEFTCG with his concession speech?

  • sergio | September 11, 2013 5:23 PM

    Compare the guests on Queen Latifah's pmeiere week next week. Jamie Foxx, Will Smith. Alicia Keys, David Letterman to name a few. That's a killer week and she has the clout to get them all. All she has to do is call them and ask (Also since Will is exec producing his show with Jada it's no brainer than he was going to be on and I assume she will too)

    Meanwhile Arsenio has George Lopez, Magic Johsnon, Mark harmon and Earth Wind and and Fire. Not so killer a week. Did they try to get Oprah for example? Did they even botjer or they tried and she turned them down. Hell I would have tried to get Miley Cyrus.

    Also his kevel of guests reflects his current status. He's been away for almst 20 years so it's not like he's going to have his first or even second choice of guests. Now if the ratings stay strong then watch big names lining up to be on his show

  • 90056 | September 11, 2013 12:30 PMReply

    Get Kanye and Kardashian.
    They are attention whores.

  • S.K. ABAKA | September 11, 2013 11:18 AMReply

    Can a MuhFuhKa just enjoy a show and STFU with all the troll criticism?? Lames...(article writer too).

  • Sergio | September 11, 2013 11:25 AM

    No a MuhFuhKa (as you call yourself - not much on self respect are you?) can't enjoy a show without my permission

  • Muse | September 11, 2013 11:04 AMReply

    If Arsenio can entice guests to come on who currently have a lot of buzz like Steve McQueen (who's got a big film coming out soon), Kerry Washington (who's got the season premiere of a hit show coming out soon) and Dave Chappelle (who's in the midst of his first major tour in years), his show will do fine.

  • sergio | September 11, 2013 3:12 PM

    "If Arsenio went against the grain, it would allow his show to standout to some extent. He can't play it safe".

    The question is how much control does he have about that? Will (and can) he push the producers and bookers to be more agressive and original or will he just follow through with what they want? Back when he was on the first time it was a whole lot easier because there was literally no competition. Now there's too much of it and the temptation is to go along with what the others are doing.

  • slb | September 11, 2013 3:05 PM

    @Sergio That's what I said in the other S&A post. His first week's guests don't move the needle at all. I'm sure there will be some viewers watching out of curiosity since dude's been gone for 19 years, so the producers might not think first week guests aren't that important. But then what? I really think he should take the approach he took when he had his original show. He booked guests/performers that would never appear on the Tonight Show (at the time).

    I think Arsenio should tow the line between entertainment and information. I love the idea of Steve McQueen. Steve McQueen may very well have the most nominated movie this year. Arsenio should do what other shows won't. You say other shows don't book directors. Then he should go against the grain and book interesting directors. There is so much clutter in late night now that you can't trot out the same old guests. When Arsenio was on in '89 there was The Tonight Show and Late Night with Letterman. That was it. Now there's Tonight Show, Letterman, JKL, Fallon, Craig Ferguson, Conan, Daily Show/Colbert Report.
    Many of these shows book the same guests. If Arsenio went against the grain, it would allow his show to standout to some extent. He can't play it safe.

  • Sergio | September 11, 2013 11:23 AM

    You can forget McQueen. Talk shows are notorious about not liking film directors on their shows. They claim they don't pull an audience. I recall that even The Today Show once had to have their arm twisted before they had James Cameron on the the show. Dave Chappelle would be a "good get", but once again what does it benefit him to be on his show? Also Arsenio may want him or Washington, but what about the producers or talent bookers for the show? They may have other ideas. "Sorry Arseino Chapelle is too controversial. He may go off on white people. Let's get someone safer" And also let's say he does get Chappelle. O.K. the ratings go up for that one show, but then what after that? He's got to keep the momentum going. I mean look at his guest list for his premiere week. Not exactly must see TV. Mark Harmon? Magic Johnson? You think he could have gotten someone who's actually currently playing in the NBA? Earth Wind and Fire? What year am I in - 1978?

  • LeonRaymond | September 11, 2013 9:51 AMReply

    He just needs to book those odd and underrated BLACK GUEST that the other shows won't touch, if he does a service to Black Cinema he will come out okay, yeah he can book Bruno Mars but big deal mainstream has already Anointed him. But those acts that are cutting edge and underground and controversial. There is a lot of material for him -Black Writers -there are more , Black filmmakers there are more since he left, The New Black Panther Party is back, book them! I'd book both Serena and Venus followed by another controversial guest after them He can do it but he's got to throw away the talk show play book right now and do a Black version of Carson Daily who hardly ever book Black guest!

  • Michiline | September 11, 2013 7:52 PM

    The New Black Panther Party???? Are you kidding? Malik Shabazz is a one man operation! LOL

  • sergio | September 11, 2013 10:17 AM

    That's the point. Even Serena and Venus won't come on his show unless he can prove that he's getting an audience. They're not going to appear on a show that no one is watching. They understand publicity all too well. As for those acts that are, as you call them, "cutting edge and underground and controversial" they have othetr outlets such as W. Kalamu Bell's show. That young black heavy metal group Unlocking the Truth have already appeared on his show. You think Arsenio's people will book them? No way! Besides what would a group like that have to gain appearing on Arsenio? Do talk shows even matter anymore? Their popularity and influence have waned greatly over the years. More people talk about what John Stewart said on The Daily Show the night before then what Letterman said

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