TBS announced Wednesday it had signed up its late night host Conan O’Brien for two more years.
The Time Warner network noted the star has enjoyed three consecutive months of audience growth and that in January the show scored 27 percent more viewers than it had in October.
That’s good —because, in October, Conan was only averaging about 900,000 viewers. You may have seen news reports last fall about the weeks in which Conan snared a smaller audience than even Chelsea Handler over at E!
This fall, TBS began airing pricey “Big Bang Theory” repeats in Conan’s lead-in timeslot, which has helped pump up his ratings. Since the start of the new year, he’s averaged about 1.1 million viewers — compared to “The Colbert Report’s” 1.6 million, and “The Daily Show’s” 2.2 million.
Meanwhile, over on broadcast TV here’s Jay Leno is averaging 3.7 million viewers in the first quarter, Dave Letterman is averaging 3.3 million, and “Nightline” is posting an average of 3.7 million. Additionally, Jimmy Kimmel is logging 1.7 million viewers, Jimmy Fallon 1.8 million, and Craig Ferguson 1.5 million.
But, Conan’s is the youngest audience of the lot, with a median age in the mid-30s, TBS points out. Advertisers love median ages in the mid-30s. This also means, TBS noted, that many of his fans watch the show online and not on TV at all. Video clips from “Conan” that have been presented through TeamCoco.com, viral players, and YouTube, attracted more than 83 million video views in 2011.