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According to the Hollywood Reporter, Current has released the first-night numbers for the infamous, deplorable Keith Olbermann. The channel claims that Edward R Olbermann attracted 179,000 viewers in the key 25-54 demo, crowing that they "beat CNN"! Of course at that hour CNN is running the basement-dwelling Eliot Spitzer hour, so that's not saying much. Still, it's an impressive first-night for Herr Olbermahn, but with the curiosity factor satiated, we should look for those numbers to sag as the week goes on.
But can we trust these numbers at all? Just because Current says something doesn't make it true; don't forget who their Chief News Officer is. According to TV By the Numbers:
CurrentTV does not subscribe to the Nielsen service that would regularly measure its programs (presumably because it's only in around 60 million homes). Until CurrentTV subscribes to be measured, there's no chance we (or anybody else) will regularly see any numbers and unless they order a special report and then release those numbers, you won't likely see any one-off reporting either.
Interestingly, the word 'Nielsen' doesn't appear anywhere in the Hollywood Reporter piece. Hmm, do we know these numbers from Current are Nielsen numbers at all, as opposed to something Olby's interns came up with while making random calls to the Daily Kos subscriber base? It all remains to be seen, but assuming arguendo the 179K is correct, where would that leave Olby? In the top 10 cable news shows? Top 20? Well, here is the list (25-54 demo). Note: this list only covers early morning and primetime shows. Fox News daytime programs routinely out-rate many of the primetime shows on other channels, but the nightly ratings do not include the daytime hours:
There you have it. Edward R Olbermann finishes in the #23 slot (in fact lower than that given the numbers that Fox daytime programs pull). Isn't it ironic? Markos 'The Liar' Moulitsas ridiculed Joe Scarborough as the 'lowest rated' morning cable news host...yet Joe still has more viewers than Keith Olbermann does! If anyone believed Markos, that would mean Olbermann loses to every morning cable news show on the air, but of course we know better than to believe Markos. It's enough to realize that KO is pulling up the rear, exactly where he belongs.
Discuss, resolve, and recap tonight's gruesome Hour of Spin, which will revisit Jon Stewart vs Chris Wallace, John McCain, Afghanistan...and hey, maybe Edward R Olbermann will even discuss some topics he didn't cover less than 24 hours ago.
Comments are open!
UPDATE: Politico tells us that Current has recently started being rated by Nielsen. They also note that Current has forbade Nielsen from releasing the total viewership (all ages) numbers for Countdown, from which we can conclude that they suck. Meanwhile, here's an interesting bit of context about Current's status in the overall cable picture.
For a fuller picture of how Mr Opening Night's ratings compare with other cable news programs, here are the top cable news programs (25-54 demo) for May 2011, with Olby added in. This list includes the daytime programs the nightly list omits:
As you can see, compared with May's ratings, the infamous, deplorable Keith Olbermann is even further down the totem pole. Daytime programs on CNN beat his inflated opening night numbers. In fact, every daytime program on Fox News beats him like a rented mule. But Olby did manage to tie Red Eye...which airs at 3:00 am.