To make a huge splash for Monday's premiere of its new TBS show, Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, Turner simulcast the program on five networks. The experiment was a success—but for Adult Swim more than TBS.
Bee's critically acclaimed debut was watched by 2.2 million viewers across TBS, TNT, Adult Swim, truTV and HLN, including 1.2 million in the 18-49 demo. However, the numbers were biggest not for TBS, which will be airing the show every Monday at 10:30 p.m., but for Adult Swim: 986,000 watched on Adult Swim, while 629,000 viewed it on TBS. The demo ratings also favored Adult Swim (570,000 viewers viewers ages 18-49, compared to 360,000 on TBS).
While the multi-network premiere was intended to be a one-night only event, those Adult Swim ratings would suggest that Turner should continue to air the show there in some form. However, TBS tells Adweek the network has no plans to change its scheduling plans for Full Frontal.
The show will air Mondays followed by two encores: Thursday night following Conan at midnight, and Saturdays at 11 p.m. after The Big Bang Theory.
Heralded as the only late-night show starring a woman (even though its 10:30 p.m. air time is outside of that daypart), Full Frontal with Samantha Bee currently has a 13-episode order, though sources close to the show anticipate that will be extended shortly.
Turner's five-network simulcast echoed Viacom's strategy last September for the first episode of The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, which aired simultaneously across all of its major networks. That experiment drew 3.48 million viewers, 1.1 million of who watched on Comedy Central.