TV Ratings: More Viewers Watched Samantha Bee's TBS Show Premiere on Adult Swim

Full Frontal with Samantha Bee - H 2016
Courtesy of TBS

Full Frontal with Samantha Bee - H 2016

In what has to be new ground for a simulcast, TBS' new Samantha Bee show premiered better on a sister network.

Of the 2.2 million viewers who watched the Daily Show veteran's Full Frontal With Samantha Bee during its four-network bow, nearly 1 million of them watched on Adult Swim. That's more than 400,000 more than the crowd who watched it debut on TBS. Full Frontal also performed better among adults 18-49 on Adult Swim. The younger-skewing network brought 570,000 viewers in the key demo, well above the 360,000 to tune in to TBS. (All told, Full Frontal pulled 1.2 million in the 18-49 demo on Monday night.)

It might not be the exact ratings narrative that TBS was hoping for, but it certainly proves that casting a wide net on your cable portfolio can pay off. The Turner network likely brought in a much better cumulative crowd to the 10:30 p.m. debut than it would have on just one network.

Billed as a late-night show, the only one on TV at the moment to feature a woman as host, Full Frontal is competing in a very different ratings arena. The weekly format means that it will likely have a longer tail from time-shifting — as does the fact that it's technically not late-night at all. Its time slot has it competing with primetime fare on ABC, CBS and NBC. A truly accurate assessment of the show's performance won't come until we've seen live-plus-three and live-plus-seven day data from TBS-exclusive telecasts.

Critics have initially been pretty warm towards the show, with The Hollywood Reporter's Daniel Fienberg writing, "The terrain is still forming, but there's a clear place for Full Frontal after this assured, effective debut."