Keith Olbermann’s new Current TV program opened to a modest-sized audience Monday night, yet still topped CNN.
The host’s new Countdown delivered 179,000 viewers at 8 p.m. among adults 25 to 54, the preferred demo of the cable news networks. By comparison, Fox News’ The O’Reilly Factor had 735,000 viewers in the demo. MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell, who replaced Olbermann, drew 237,000 (Olbermann used to average roughly 300,000 in the demo on the network). One nice win for Olbermann: He beat CNN’s struggling Eliot Spitzer, who only had 89,000.
For Current TV, whose ratings are small enough to not regularly get reported by Nielsen Media Research, these numbers aren’t bad. “We’re very pleased,” said Olbermann in a statement. “But like I said last week, it’s one night. We’ll need a couple of weeks to know where we’re starting, and we’re truly interested in next year and especially 2013.”
A Current TV spokesperson added: “We’re really happy with last night’s debut of Countdown. The feedback we’ve received from viewers, advertisers and our distribution partners about Keith Olbermann’s show on Current has been extremely positive.”