For those still scratching their heads, wondering why Conan O’Brien is making his TV comeback at TBS instead of holding out for a major broadcast network deal at Fox, Bill Carter at the New York Times has a key detail on why the late night host will fit perfectly into the Time Warner-owned station.
TBS is the No. 1 cable channel among viewers ages 18 to 34, advertisers’ most beloved demographic and Conan’s sweet spot.
Conan simply couldn’t bring in the same kind of ratings on broadcast TV as his more antiquated counterparts David Letterman and Jay Leno. As Ben Grossman at Broadcasting & Cable argues, Conan doesn’t belong on network TV anymore because of that reason. ” Put simply, O’Brien’s perceived audience was not enough to offset the damage it would have done to News Corp.’s profitability,” Grossman writes.
But Conan could be the king among kids at TBS.
TBS airs big blocks of repeats every night, filling their post-8 p.m. time with popular network sitcoms including “The Office” and “Family Guy.” Each show sits in a silo, gathering a very specific type of audience — a young one.
Here’s a key figure, from NYT:
The Monday stack of “Family Guy” does especially well. It averages about 2.2 million viewers, and 1.5 million to 1.8 million of those viewers are 18 to 49, the prime advertising bull’s-eye. (By comparison, about 1.5 million viewers in that age group watch “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno” on NBC.)
In other words, Conan could rally this audience into staying on for his 11 p.m. show, gathering record-setting cable ratings for one of the most valuable demographics for advertisers. He would be a cable god.
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