Call It A Comeback! Arsenio Hall Debut Takes #1 Ratings Crown For Late-Night Talk Shows

September 11, 2013  |  

“I won’t see you in 23 hours, but I will see you again,” Arsenio Hall said back in 1994, during the final episode of his self-titled talk show. After a 19-year hiatus, Hall kept his promise and comes back with a vengeance. The Arsenio Hall Show conquers late-night TV and resurfaces with No.1 ratings.

“Thanks for the support!!,” tweeted Christopher McDonald, Hall’s music producer. “We beat Leno, Conan, Fallon, Fergeson, and Kimmel!” Hall’s Monday debut landed in the top spot among late-night shows, according to TVBytheNumbers.

“ARSENIO beat every other late-night talk show on broadcast television in the key demos of Adults 25-54 and Adults 18-49 (in the 25 Local People Meter markets),” the site says. “ARSENIO was #1 in Adults 25-54 with a 1.2/5, ahead of all other late-night broadcast veterans. ARSENIO was #1 in Adults 18-49 with a 1.0/4, ahead of all other late-night broadcast shows.”

Hall’s first episode welcomed actor and comedian Chris Tucker as his first guest, as well as a surprise visit from Paula Abdul and Snoop Dogg. While the ratings show a promising start for Hall, the debut received mixed reviews. The New York Times, for example, said “Mr. Hall’s return to the screen was mostly a little sad. He is better than this and deserved a more convincing comeback.”

“Watching last night’s first installment of The Arsenio Hall Show was a bit like having a very fun uncle ramble on about his very fun youth,” Time said. “He made jokes about AOL CD-Roms, Wesley Snipes, and hosted a roster of slightly historical guests including Paula Abdul and Chris Tucker.” There is some truth to this. Tucker spent a few minutes talking about a Friday reunion and how the movie has become a classic, making it seem like a reunion special of some kind rather than a new show that’s ramping up for a long future.

Variety, however, has faith in Hall’s success even among  the late-night greats. ” Arsenio 2.0 can still emerge as a survivor,” it says.

Tonight, The Arsenio Hall Show will feature Mac Miller, who is promoting his new reality TV series Mac Miller and the Most Dope Family. Ice Cube will also stop by to talk about that possible Friday reunion.

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