Have You Watched “Mad Money” Yet?

By Brian 

Is “Mad Money with Jim Cramer” the future of CNBC? The 6pm talk show is fast-paced, interactive, opinionated — and perhaps most importantly, it’s positioned at the intersection of Wall St. and Main St., as a sign on the set indicates. The show is airing at 10pm this week, as Donny Deutsch takes a vacation. Update: 5:35pm: While some e-mailers have speculated that Mad Money could replace The Big Idea full-time, a change is not in the works. “Cramer is not going to replace Donny Deutsch,” an insider says. Cramer’s temporary 10pm broadcast is designed to introduce new viewers to the show, especially on the west coast, the insider added.

The show premiered on March 14. It averaged 170,000 viewers during its premiere week, delivering a 0.2, 152,000 HH, 65,000 viewers in the 25-54 demo, and 35,000 in the 18-49 demo. It’s like talk radio on TV: Cramer paces back and forth taking viewer phone calls and debating the value of stocks. “Let’s make some money together,” he implored a caller earlier this week.

> “I think the new show is great and has that certain ‘Fox’ attitude/edge,” an e-mailer says. “Perhaps this is CNBC prepping to compete with the upcoming Fox biz channel? What worries me, however, is that the show is a lot like some of the old CNNfn programming. History has shown that viewer call-in shows don’t fare too well on cable. Being a business guy, I love ’em and think they’re filling a certain void left by CNNfn…”

> “Can someone PLEASE take that sound panel away from him?,” one viewer asks. “He’s abusing it horribly.”