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Syndication in 95 percent of the country was enough for Arsenio Hall to top late night during his Monday return.
The host launched his self-titled talker from CBS Television Distribution with wins in both the adults 18-49 and 25-54 demographics, besting original competition in Big Four efforts Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Late Night With David Letterman and The Tonight Show With Jay Leno.
Arsenio averaged a 1.0 rating with 18-49-ers and a 1.2 rating with adults 25-54 in Nielsen’s Local People Meter Markets. Both figures top all competition nationwide and in key markets such as New York, Los Angeles and Chicago.
By comparison, Kimmel was closest (0.8 adults 18-49, 1.0 adults 25-54), followed by Letterman (0.7 adults 18-49, 1.0 adults 25-54) and Leno (0.6 adults 18-49, 0.9 adults 25-54).
The households average for Arsenio nearly doubled year-ago time period averages with a 1.9 rating and 4 share for Tribune Broadcasting nets.
Preliminary returns are obviously subject to change — but the first numbers are an unquestionable win for Hall, whose last gig as a late-night host ended almost 20 years ago.
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