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Comedy Central's Silverman Spells Ratings Gold



Anthony Crupi

FEBRUARY 05, 2007 -

The debut of Comedy Central’s unclassifiable new series, The Sarah Silverman Program, delivered impressive numbers Thursday night, averaging 1.8 million total viewers in the 10:30-11:00 p.m. time slot.

Silverman also delivered cable’s biggest audiences of the night among the key demos, reaching 1.3 million adults 18-49, and winning out among men 18-24, men 18-34 and men 18-49.

While advertisers may have been a bit anxious going into the premiere––Silverman served up her usual brew of doody jokes and racial jibes, as well as an extended fantasy sequence documenting a hallucinatory cough syrup overdose––the inventory for the episode was completely sold out. The theatrical category was particularly well represented, with five 30-second spots for new releases running during the half-hour, while beer, fast food and automotive were also represented.

In the weeks leading up to the premiere, Silverman was seemingly everywhere, appearing on late-night chat shows like ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live and NBC’s Late Night with Conan O’Brien, as well as popping up on ABC’s morning talker, The View. But the promotional spot that perhaps best characterizes Silverman’s work is the one that’s been running on her own network. Dressed as if she’s on her way to a doubles match at the Greenwich Country Club, Silverman sweetly entreats male viewers to tune in to the show, saying, “for most of you, this is the closest you’re ever going to get to a vagina.”

The Sarah Silverman Program runs Thursday nights at 10:30.


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