Partial Ratings In for Olbermann Debut

Well ahead of CNN in 25-54 demo, but will they stay that way?

Current has released some hard numbers about how Keith Olbermann actually fared in the premiere of his new show on Monday night.

The verdict? The network is claiming a victory, of sorts, in the key 25-54 demo group.

Current says that Countdown with Keith Olbermann  took in 179,000 viewers from that demo at its 8 PM debut Monday night, compared to 89,000 viewers at CNN and 237,000 at MSNBC. Current has not, however, released figures for its total viewership that night. In a statement, Olbermann commented on his show's performance, saying, “We’re very pleased. But like I said last week, it’s one night. We’ll need a couple of weeks to know where we’re starting, and we’re truly interested in next year and especially 2013.”

After months of media hype and twitter feuding between Olbermann and his former bosses at MSNBC, the reaction after the show almost universally was that Olbermann had kept things at Countdown almost exactly the same as they had been at his old digs.

For a network that has struggled to gain access to households and build a consistent viewership, the figures for Current in that key demographic are certainly noteworthy. The question, of course, is whether those eyeballs will stick will stick to Current's screen, or whether the viewers that checked in to Olbermann's premiere will check out once the publicity around his return starts to die down.