There’s a reason why Comedy Central promotes the heck out of their annual celebrity roasts: They are almost always big performers in the ratings, even if they air late at night and often do not even feature some of the most-popular comedians on television.
Overall, this year’s edition starring James Franco easily clobbered the more older-skewing event last year featuring Roseanne Barr, scoring 3.1 million total viewers along with a very impressive 2.2 rating in the 18-49 demographic. This means that the vast majority of the people watching were in this range, and it was the #2 non-news or sports program of the night, trailing only “Under the Dome” over on CBS (which had over three times the viewers, but only an advantage of 0.4 in the demo).
In our mind, one of the clear reasons for the event’s success this year was the presence of Franco as the star of the roast, along with some of his celebrity friends including Seth Rogen and Jonah Hill. These three guys all make millions at the box office together, and they proved that there is still an audience interested in checking them out on television.
One other interesting thing that these ratings do not include are the number of people who streamed the show online with commercials. In an incredibly-smart move, Comedy Central opted to give the show multiple avenues for success, which is something that we wish other networks would do to better optimize their content. We always prefer watching shows on our TV screen, so there is still the incentive to pay for cable. However, the internet audience can only increase your revenue thanks to commercials.
If you want to check out what we thought about the roast last night, including our grades of all the roasters, be sure to click here. Hopefully, these ratings prove that Comedy Central doesn’t have a problem getting another big name in the future.
Photo: Comedy Central