Solid Sampling for Turner’s Lopez Tonight

Turner’s heavy promotion of George Lopez’ new late-night talk show seems to have paid off, at least in the near term, as the one-hour premiere of Lopez Tonight drew 3.16 million viewers Monday night at 11 p.m.

The first episode of the TBS chat show was simulcast on sibling networks TNT and truTV. In the aggregate, Lopez Tonight averaged 1.82 million viewers 18-49, 1.64 million adults 25-54 and 1 million viewers 18-34, per Nielsen live-plus-same-day ratings data.

Among the core TV demo, Lopez Tonight’s debut out-delivered the current season 18-49 averages of CBS’ Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live, NBC’s Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and Comedy Central’s The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Of those four programs, only the 11-11:30 p.m. Daily Show competes head-to-head with Lopez.

Home base accounted for more than half of the total draw, as TBS delivered 1.7 million viewers in the 11 p.m. hour. TNT’s simulcast averaged 1 million viewers, while truTV drew around 500,000.

On Lopez’ inaugural roster were guests Ellen DeGeneres, Eva Longoria-Parker, Kobe Byrant and Carlos Santana.

“Viewers are ready for a change, and George Lopez is an exciting addition to late-night television,” said Steve Koonin, president of Turner Entertainment Networks. “We are extremely proud of the success of last night’s premiere of Lopez Tonight and are confident the show will continue to be a big late-night hit.”

On the promo front, Turner relied heavily on this fall’s MLB playoff coverage, hyping Lopez’ new talker and the upcoming (Dec. 7) TNT original series Men of a Certain Age, starring Ray Romano. In its 18 postseason baseball games, TBS averaged 5.15 million total viewers, off just 4.4 percent from the 5.38 million viewers it drew with last year’s slate of 22 playoff telecasts.