Keith Olbermann bragged via Twitter last week after his new show on Current received higher ratings than that of Lawrence O'Donnell's, occupier of his old MSNBC time-slot. But he might have boasted too soon.
Olbermann's relaunched version of "Countdown" took a turn for the worse his second week, with ratings dropping considerably. Deadline Hollywood affirms that last week's numbers are "bracing":
Olbermann attracted an average of 93,000 viewers in its target 25-54 demo, down 29% from the first week. The total audience, at 253,000, was down 28.5%. The numbers account for people who watched the 8 PM ET broadcast live, or the same evening on their DVRs.
Meanwhile, MSNBC's ratings went up considerably in the second quarter, suggesting that the loss of Olbermann may not have been a loss at all. An article from last week's Business Insider said the cable channel is up 3% year-over-year, averaging a viewership of 945,000.
MSNBC's ability to continue this trend will presumably be more solid given Olbermann's recent decline in ratings. "He appeared to lure some — but not most — of MSNBC’s viewers away for an hour," Brian Stelter, of the New York Times, wrote last week. And while this luring proved valuable -- Olbermann's show has increased Current's 8 p.m. audience fifteen-fold -- it seems as if MSNBC has a loyal following, invested in both the network and Lawrence O'Donnell. With any luck, MSNBC loyalists will be be enough for the network to maintain its successful trajectory, even with Olbermann on a different channel.