It might have been his last show, but Conan O’Brien proved that he can draw in the masses. Early national ratings reports indicate that O’Brien had a 4.8 rating share in the 18-49 year old demographic on Friday night. This is NBC’s most targeted audience as this is what determines the price of advertising for the network and advertisers are always trying to reach out to these people.
These reports are still early, but if the numbers hold this would mean that O’Brien was able to beat out any other show that has been on NBC this season in this ratings demographic. Even though this was his last show and there was a lot of hype about it because of the fracas of his battle with NBC, the ability for O’Brien to attract these kind of ratings is a testament to his character. These preliminary rating reports could lend Conan a helping hand in getting a show on another network.
The most likely new home for O’Brien will be the Fox network. The network is having difficulties, however, in winning over the idea of giving up profit generating syndicated programming in favour of a late night talk show with its local stations. Hopefully his achievements in his ratings in the final episode and over the last couple of weeks will be enough to propel him on Fox and win over the local stations. If nothing else, these numbers show that Conan O’Brien is very popular and has the potential to attract a large following. All he needs is a station that will give him a good lead in, unlike NBC where he suffered with the lead in from the local news. The most likely reason for this is because the local news had poor lead ins from the failing Jay Leno Show.