Conan O’Brien’s show said today a total of 3.7 million viewers have checked out Conan In Cuba, in which O’Brien became the first American late-night host to do a show in Cuba in more than 50 years.
That’s not far behind the 4.2 million who’d caught the unveiling of his TBS series when it premiered on November 8, 2010, marking the late-night veteran’s return to television. The Cuba show ranks as Conan’s most-watched destination special. His other destination specials to date have included his trip to New York in November of ’11, his trip to Chicago in June of ’12, his Atlanta visit in April of ’13 and a trek to Dallas in April of ’14.
The 3.7 million viewers were collected from multi-platform viewing across TBS’s premiere and encore telecasts, the Watch TBS website and app, DVR playback and set-top VOD. The show also brought in viewers through a pair of repeat runs on sister networks HLN and truTV.
In early March, An average of nearly 2 million people watched the premiere of Conan In Cuba on opening night. TBS’s unveiling of O’Brien’s historic trip to Cuba logged 1.3 million viewers in its 11 PM ET premiere that Wednesday night , after which the network immediately ran it again, posting another 510,000 viewers. For comparison sake, 642,000 had watched O’Brien’s late night show, Conan just one night earlier. The Cuba visit’s first telecast alone ranks No. 31 among all of Conan’s telecasts to date.
Some context: In the first quarter of ’15, Conan clocked an average of 807,000 viewers — 255,000 in the 18-34-year-old age bracket.
During the Cuba special, Conan mocked CNN, learned the importance of the Cuban clave beat and wowed a band with his 8th grade Spanish skills. He also mastered the Spanish tongue twister about three sad tigers, sampled rum — a lot — with guide Gretel, took an intensive lesson to master the erotic rumba, and visited the famous waterfront promenade where Cuban youth shared with him their rum — in a box — and cigarettes, which Conan speculated cost him all his show sponsors.
Among the ratings highlights the show announced this morning:
With a total reach of 3.7 mil, Conan in Cuba has scored 194% growth compared to the show’s year-to-date multiplatform reach.
With its linear telecasts, the Conan in Cuba premiere on TBS and encores on TBS, HLN and truTV brought in more than 3 million viewers in Live + 7 delivery. That includes 1.6 million adults 18-49 and 794,000 adults 18-34.
TBS’s March 5 premiere telecast of Conan in Cuba brought in 1.5 million viewers in Live + 7 delivery, a 73% increase over Conan year-to-date average. The premiere telecast was also up in key demos compared to the series’ 2015-to-date Live + 7 average, including 57% more adults 18-49 and 49% more adults 18-34.
The HLN and truTV repeats collectively added another 308,000 viewers to the show’s Live + 7 delivery, with adults 18-49 accounting for well over half the audience.
Online video streaming for Conan in Cuba significantly outperformed the series’ 2015 averages, with 1106% more full-episode viewing, and 222% more short-form video viewing among total viewers.
On Twitter, Conan in Cuba drew 250% more tweets than the show’s 2015-to-date average.
The ratings update comes one day after the White House announced President Obama will remove Cuba from the U.S. list of nations that sponsor terrorism as part of Obama’s move to restore diplomatic relations.
In July, Conan will head to Comic-Con International for a week of shows from the historic Spreckels Theater in downtown San Diego. It will mark the first time ever that a late-night show has broadcast from San Diego during Comic-Con.