Official numbers won’t be in until Thursday, but at least in the nation’s biggest TV markets, "The Wanda Sykes Show" is off to a solid start for Fox.
According to Nielsen metered market overnight data, Saturday’s "Wanda" bow averaged a 2.2/5 from 11 p.m.- midnight. That’s up 16 percent from what "Mad TV" averaged last fall in the overnights.
What’s more, "Wanda" dramatically improved on the numbers Fox did last January and February, when the network experimented with airing "Talkshow with Spike Feresten" in the 11 p.m. timeslot. "Talkshow" tallied a 1.1/2 during its winter run, which means "Wanda" basically doubled those numbers.
In other words, so far, so good.
It’s tricky to try to draw any definitive conclusions about the premiere of "Wanda" from overnights, however, since Fox — like most networks — measure its performance in demographic ratings. Executives will be looking to see whether "Wanda" is able to successfully draw younger viewers, especially those under 35 for whom NBC’s "Saturday Night Live" may seem ancient.
Next up in the new latenight battles: Monday’s debut of "Lopez Tonight," TBS’s four-night-a-week talker from comic George Lopez.