Among that audience, Olbermann attracted 179,000 sets of eyeballs Monday night, according to data from the Nielsen Co., which began rating Current in the fourth quarter of 2010. His former network and now primary rival, MSNBC, where Lawrence O’Donnell took over the 8 p.m. time slot after Olbermann exited the network in January, had 237,000 viewers.
For some context, “The O’Reilly Factor” on Fox News, meanwhile, had 735,000 viewers among the 25-54 set; CNN drew a mere 89,000.
“We’re very pleased,” Olbermann said through a Current spokeswoman. “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.”
The spokeswoman added: “We’re really happy with last night’s debut of ‘Countdown.’ The feedback we’ve received from viewers, advertisers and our distribution partners about Keith Olbermann’s show on Current has been extremely positive.”
Current did not specify how many viewers watched the premiere in total; nor would a spokeswoman at Nielsen.