Level 2 Diagnostic wrote:
And Conan got 4 million viewers on his first night, so clearly there are enough people who know how to find TBS on the dial. I think what happened is that a lot of people tuned in because of the hype, saw that Conan's show was pretty much an exact clone of his Tonight Show that they never watched, and never bothered to tune in again.
It's actually very different than his Tonight Show... it's somewhat similar to Late Night but different than that as well, given that they have not been allowed to re-use a single comedy bit from those shows. Furthermore, he has brought more of the casual loose energy that he had on his live tour into the show, with much more audience interaction and improvisation.
Honestly, to say it's a clone of his Tonight Show is pretty absurd... they are about as disparate as any two talk shows with the same host could possibly be.
The reason the ratings aren't amazing is because his demographic is the internet generation. You'll notice that the Daily Show is only slightly better and yet it's a cultural phenomenon that has real hold on the internet generation. That shows that TV ratings aren't the real measuring stick of success for shows aimed at that audience.
They knew that coming in as well because from day one they posted full episodes on the website the next day.
I am a good microcosm of this. I'm a huge fan of Conan but I just rarely watch TV these days, what shows I do watch I watch through the internet. And it doesn't help that they decided to pit it directly against Stewart and Colbert, who have a solid hold on the thin slice of pie of that demographic that actually watch TV the traditional way. At the end of the day, I watched on TV the first week or so, and since then I've watched only 2 episodes. But it has nothing to do with my opinion of him or the show, he's my favourite and I watch online when I have time.
So they knew what they were getting into, make no mistake, and these results are no big deal.