Move over Letterman and Leno! Last week on Monday, Arsenio Hall debuted his self-titled program after 19 years away. He grabbed the No. 1 spot for the most-viewed late-night talk show for the September 9-13 week, Broadcasting & Cable reports.
This is the highest rating for a premiere in seven years among two key demographics — adults 18-to-49 and adults 25-to-54 — matching Rachael Ray’s talk-show debut in 2006.
Compared to the programming in this time slot last year (Seinfeld), The Arsenio Hall Show, there was an 86 percent viewership surge in New York. In Los Angeles, Hall’s show replaced Friends and generated a 138 percent uptick in viewers. As for Chicago, The Arsenio Hall Show saw a 58 percent increase in viewers compared to 2012.
Although Hall pulled in some stellar numbers, some critics have been leaving some lackluster reviews for the talk-show legend. As the comedic vet has plans to have Beyonce and Macklemore visit the show, The Boston Globe had some choice words for Hall: “Instead of trying to innovate or Tweet or become something you’re not – a modern-day competitor to Fallon and Kimmel and even old Jay – why not just go back to the golden era? […] Bill Cosby, Barry Manilow, Sinbad, Alyssa Milano, and Whoopi Goldberg.”
” I’m still not hooked,” IndieWire said, “It’s a long way from being must-see TV for me, and I’m not sure if that’s going to change anytime soon, unless there’s a radical shift.”
Despite the meh reviews, Hall explains that he intends to come back strong this time. “There’s a fear, and I think that’s what makes me not come back lazy; I failed in this town,” Hall told Ebony in an interview, “I know what failure feels like.”
How do you think Arsenio Hall did for his first week back on late-night TV?