Olbermann's new show draws modest viewership


Image Credit: AP Images

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.”


Comments (113 total) Add your comment
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    Huge chunk of his audience does not have access to current tv until we switch cable stations

    • Peter Bishop

      mark my words Mitch was the one who killed Rosie on the Killing – she resented the life she had and when she found out her daughter (whom she sacrificed so much for) was a hooker, she killed her – THAT is why she has been so overcome with grief.

      • Walter Bishop

        Peter? My son??

      • Walternate

        He’s my son!

      • Tom

        Just what we all need, another political news show.

    • Lori

      Huge audience just waiting for Current to hit their t.v. sets? Are you kkdding me. Current is rlevant only for the giftwrap and cards they sell. That liar and cheat Olbermann ended up there – who cares.

      • kate middleton

        So true.

        I also find it interesting that he says they’re especially waiting for 2013. Is good old Keith anticipating that Obama loses in 2012 and having a republican president will increase his ratings? What else would be special about 2013?

      • c jones

        the keith-meister didn’t lie nor cheat. He donated money to a political candidate AFTER the person appeared on his show. When that was made public he didn’t deny it. So no lying OR cheating went on.
        I think that many viewers on a show which is on a channel no one ever heard of is rather successful!

      • Antoine

        Freakin’ hilarious! Love it!

    • LOL

      GOP fears Olbermann. CNN goes down the first night (in a key demo)! Truth marches on! Welcome back, KO!

      • frank wright

        Get your med’s adjusted

      • Jon

        Fear = a 0.0 rating???

      • Brett

        Why would the GOP “fear” Olbermann? He’s a pundit, seen by few, ignored by most, and currently banished to a channel where he is watched by less than 10 percent of the population.

      • Jean

        The GOP “fears” Keith Olbermann; how many squirrels are in your head?!

      • c jones

        Olbermans OPENING viewers are a tiny bit less than 1/4 of the great Bill O’Reilly’s viewers, 1/2 his replacement’s viewers and more than CNN’s viewers! Wait till all his fans figure out where to find him!
        Bill O better be at least mildly concerned. Didn’t he used to pull in 2 million viewers? Mybe he ought to take his show and “do it live!”

      • c jones

        (in the demo ratings as noted below)

      • yakofujimato

        The GOP “fear” Olbermann???!!!! Is that what he said???? LOL! LOL! LOL!

    • DJ

      Only 179K for his debut? What a joke. He barely got any ratings at MSNBC, now they’re going to be even lower. Pathetic.

      • 3reddogs

        The 179k wasn’t the total audience – it was the number of viewers in the 25-54 demo. Too complicated for you or do you just have reading comprehension issues?

    • yakofujimato

      And so how come nobody seems to have switched yet??

  • John

    Yeah, that is mote than “modest” considering coverage % and channel position

    • cattyfan

      179,000 viewers is considered modest? I would call it disgraceful. There are more people listening to AM radio in market 142 than there were watching his national cable program.

      • Mike

        Considering that Current doesn’t appear on MOST Of the nations cable line ups, I’d say this was pretty good.

  • john

    Olbermann defines rant–left biased, albeit. He’s like a supermarket tabloid headline and almost as good as the girl who replaced him!

    • Lori

      John – it’s relevant that you cannot even recall the “girl” who replaced him. And life goes on – without Olbermann just fine and dandy. Trust me. Trust America. Current T.V – who cares.

    • I think you are mistaken

      O’Donnell (who occupies Keith’s time slot on MSNBC) is not a girl.

      • denny flojak

        Many of us might disagree, o’donnell is a little squirly and girly to me.

    • c jones

      no, glenn beck defines ‘rant’. Keith occasionally presents his view with facts and, yes, strong opinion. But usually fact based. And always humane.

      • denny flojak

        you are in a world of your own. I’m gonna take some good drugs and join you first chance

  • Jim Smith

    I agree with Pinar. Olbermann’s numbers will undoubtedly grow. It was MSNBCs highest rated show and since, thankfully, the new show is very close to the format of the original, those other people will follow once they know where the hell it IS.

    • Larry Brewer

      No, Jim Smith. Keith O’s numbers will shrink. The show’s premier numbers won’t be matched for a long time, if ever.

  • bio

    I don’t know very much about him other than he was fired/resigned from MSNBC. He is certainly douchey looking. I don’t think I’ll be watching and I watch more than I should on current.

    • cj

      ignorant. Yes, you! Nothing of value to add, just a childish personal attack. By the way, I’ sure some may find your physical appearance unacceptable and I’m sure you probably classify yourself a christian. You people are really small, sad, hateful people. If your the christians, I look forward to being in hell with the sinners.

  • SC


  • Liann

    Comcast kisses the Rupert Murdoch Fox Newz buttochs and gives it free even though there’s no news on Fox News, and charges extra for Current. The Olbermann ratings would be embarrassing if the same number of people COULD watch it as get Focced Newz, and it was only ahead of CNN.

    • Ryan

      FOX News gets great rating and Current gets none. It’s not some vast right wing conspiracy. It’s simple business. You can hate on FOX but at the end of the day your in the minority when it comes to cable news viewers.

      • c jones

        The thing is, Fox gets viewers who only want their own version of the news, and label all other news (the facts and interpretations they don’t like) as ‘lamestream’.

      • Me.Myself&I

        Well Ryan, did you even read the post you responded to? Fox News is free in all packages where even CNN and certainly MSNBC are not, so the numbers are stacked.

    • RM

      I agree with you, but as said before, what does ratings have to do with quality, integrity or credibility… if so than based on his gigantic ratings consistently trumping O’Reilly, SpongeBob SquarePants is the new Edward R. Murrow. Fpox skews to an older demo, which, per statistical stereotype are known to leave one station on all day, and contributes to their numbers.

    • Larry Brewer

      Households with – Fox News is in 102 million, CNN – 93 million, and MSNBC is in 78 million. These numbers show a fairly level access to all 3 networks. And Fox News wins everytime…

      “When we started we had a choice, we could be well liked or we could be successful, we chose to be successful” Brit Hume-FoxNews.

  • Linda

    Love you Keith — glad to see you back in stride again…

  • shari

    Wow, just found Keith by accident!! I missed him! I did not hear anything about this show, but, you got me back!!

    • Larry Brewer

      And Wow! You just happened to find this obscure website talking about your favorite guy you just happened upon just last night! You are running quite a string of good luck I say!

      • denny flojak

        “Luck” being the operative word here.

  • Pat

    Yay, Keith. We’ve missed you.

    • denny flojak

      yeah, like I miss my hemorrhoids.

  • jerryt

    Olbermann is awesome.. but the ratings are totally off.. msnbc doesn’t show in all markets while fox news shows in all markets. so it looks like fox has a lot more viewers, and the fact is, lots of people don’t have access to msnbc & even current tv. so they don’t even have a choice!. And that’s totally skewes it all up.

    • Debra Sircar

      You are right that fox news shows in all markets while msnbc and Current do not. After just coming back from a cross country road trip, I noticed that fox was available @ every motel we stayed, but not msnbc. I wonder if this “captive” audience viewing is included in the stats reported.

    • Larry Brewer

      Households with – Fox News is in 102 million, CNN – 93 million, and MSNBC is in 78 million. And this is your explanation as to why Fox beats MSNBC as much as 5 to 1? FoxNews used to beat CNN when they were in half the households as CNN. I might add that it’t really hard to get reruns of F Troop, Bananza, and My Mother the Car… because nobody want to watch that crap. Just liek MSNBC.. When will you libs ever learn that your twisted view is shared by a very small minority of American people and that is why the ratings for your shows suck.

      • denny flojak

        Lib’s just want to find excuses. they do it when they can’t pass a test and blame the teacher. They do it when they can’t win a game and blame the referee, umpire or the field their playing on. They do it when they lose a court case and blame the judge. Losers are loser and they will always have the ability to find an excuse. Fox rules and they hate it, nothing else needs to be said.

      • Larry

        Fox beats MSNBC because the majority of television viewing Americans looking for political entertainment are a little dimwitted. I hate to say this but it is true

      • Lauri

        If the “libs” are such a small minority of American people, then how did Obama get elected with such a large majority?

      • bignewsguy

        welcome back Keith, it’s great to have a fearless voice of journalistic integrity and honesty exposing the lies and propaganda of the rightwing hate machine. focksnoose is for uninformed white racists who fear everything and need to be coddled with lies to validate their baseless and destructive political beliefs. Consistently the most misinformed viewers of ANY so-called news service. If the ratings at fake news are so damned relevant to its value as a news service, then why do they keep perpetuating lies of Andrew Breitbart as if it were breaking news? The guy keeps getting caught in one lie after another, using doctored video and audio to hang innocent people. He’s facing several lawsuits right now, as is his fellow hitman James O’keefe, the infamous “pimp” in the fictitous Acorn scam. Google Acorn scam and watch Rachel Maddow’s FULL report on how focks misled their viewers intentionally. And check out breitbart’s other lies on Shirley Sherrod and USDA, the NPR exec, the two University of Missouri labor studies professors if you want proof that focks is all about perpetuating lies. Do a little research on these stories and if you still support fake news then there’s no hope for you. An idiot can see thru their BS. They are the most disgraceful news outlet in US history, the equivalent of the tass news agency of the USSR in the 50s, 60s and 70s.

  • sam

    Glad that he is back on TV. These are great numbers for Current and I hope that they will grow. At least he can do what he wants to do now. The show has been very entertaining and informative.

  • Claire

    Keith: We’ve missed you. Current, thanks for bringing him back because we need him.

  • Lauren

    Are you going to add up all the viewers of each episode as it runs at least 3 or 4 times each night?It’s so refreshing to see someone speaking the uncensored truth on national tv.

    • Tabitha Soren

      Lauren, just because some windbag echoes your own opinions does not mean he is “speaking the uncensored truth.”

      • wlv

        you’re right on with that Tab!

  • barbarajump

    keith am glad your back.I have cox so i do not get current. wish i did.

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