Keith Olbermann's 'Countdown' Beats CNN in Target Demo

Keith Olbermann
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The premiere of the host’s show on Current pulls in 179,000 viewers in the 25-54 demo.

The premiere of Current’s Countdown With Keith Olbermann averaged 179,000 viewers in news’ target demographic of 25- to 54-year-olds Monday at 8 p.m., according to numbers provided by Current.
That’s a big improvement for Current, which averaged 30,000 viewers in primetime for the first quarter.

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Countdown also beat CNN in the demo at 8 p.m. – by a wide margin.

Eliot Spitzer’s In the Arena pulled in 89,000 viewers in the demo. (Spitzer was not anchoring due to a planned vacation.) But MSNBC’s Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell notched 237,000 in the demo. Nevertheless, it is a solid start for Olbermann on his new network, which is in about 37 percent fewer households than CNN and MSNBC.

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Olbermann has downplayed ratings expectation, but he’s clearly gunning for the competition on his former network. His show will consistently run past the 9 p.m. hour, a tactic commonly employed to stanch channel switching.

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“We’re very pleased,” said Olbermann. “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.”