The entire Internet made a big deal about the fact that Conan O'Brien was taking his talents to TBS last fall, but now it appears that being loved by the entire Internet isn't necessarily the way to find ratings success on the small screen. Since the premiere of Conan last November, ratings for the late night talk show are down some 60 percent. Pause here for yikes.
At the moment, Conan is currently being watched by less than 1 million people. Not as bad as the recently canceled Lopez Tonight, but worse than almost every other late night show, including Chelsea Lately. TBS is hoping a better lead-in will be the answer; the network is spending nearly $2 million per episode of The Big Bang Theory to air reruns of the CBS hit twice a week before Conan, as well as developing original comedies.
Not that the lead-in necessarily matters. Conan and Conan are out of sight on TBS; the audience just doesn't know to find him there, and they don't actually care enough about late night television to search him out. The good news is that Conan draws a younger audience than most of his competitors, something the advertisers surely appreciate. Still, less than one million viewers is less than one million viewers. If only the Internet still cared...