About 3.1 million people watched the Comedy Central Roast Of James Franco last night — 2.4 million of them being adults 18-49, and 1.9 million in 18-34, with 1.2 million of that group being guys. Yes, Franco’s roast is up double digits compared to last year’s Roseanne roast, like Comedy Central said this afternoon — including the not-surprising 64% lift among 18-34 guys and the even less surprising 88% spike among 18-24 guys. But Franco wasn’t in the same league as Sheen, who’d clocked 6.4 million viewers when Comedy Central skewered him the same night CBS unveiled Sheen’s Two And A Half Men replacement, Ashton Kutcher. If you add in Comedy Central’s two replays of the Franco bashing/lovefest last night, during which he took a lot of heat for his epic Oscar sleep-hosting, the cume climbs to 5.2 million — still not up to Sheen’s premiere stats. The Franco roast premiere also did not match the 3.5 million who’d tuned in for Comedy Central’s David Hasselhoff roast in 2010 or the 3.48 million who caught the Donald Trump roast in 2011. And, in Roseanne’s defense, her Comedy Central bashing had aired at the same time NBC was clocking 30 million viewers with the Closing Ceremony of the London Olympics.
But, Comedy Central will note, it’s not in the total-viewer game. Looking at demos, Franco fared far better — though here, too, he was no match for Sheen. With 18- to 34-year-olds, Franco’s 3.3 rating is eclipsed only by Sheen’s whopping 5.2 rating, though he shares second place with the 2005 Jeff Foxworthy roast’s 3.3. Among 18-34 guys, Franco’s 4.3 rating stands second only to Sheen in the long-running franchise’s ratings history. And, #FrancoRoast led to the roast becoming the most social show on television last night, with more than 334K mentions, according to Trendrr, and 13 roast-related trending topics.
Watch Andy Samberg roast Franco here: