The ratings are in for Keith Olbermann’s Countdown Take Two and while the figures were a boon to Current TV, Olbermann failed in his larger mission which was to beat MSNBC.
For the night Olbermann attracted 179,000 viewers in the A25-54 demographic which easily beat CNN’s In the Arena for third place, but still trailed his successor at MSNBC, Lawrence O’Donnell, who had 237,000 viewers in the same time period.
Even though Olbermann beat CNN there were a couple of extenuating circumstances, the biggest being that In the Arena host Eliot Spitzer is on vacation and that CNN is losing larger chunks of its audience than Fox or MSNBC to HLN, which is blasting the airwaves with the Casey Anthony trial.
Executives at Current are said to be pleased with the initial numbers but in a curious twist wouldn’t release the total audience figures for the night, leading to speculation that those numbers are significantly worse than they hoped.
While the numbers for one night are certainly not a predictor for success or failure, the inability of Olbermann to post better numbers, considering all the time and expense Current TV put into promoting the show, has to be a disappointment overall.
One reason for the low numbers may be that they spent some of their money advertising the show on the conservative website Townhall.com, which is definitely not their target audience.
Now that was pure genius and on par with Gore inventing the Internet.