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Wanda Sykes makes her late-night debut

SYKES Fox's new Saturday-night comedy show starring Wanda Sykes made its debut, and although it will be almost a week (yes, you read that right) until final numbers from Nielsen are available, there are some preliminary -- not really all that informative -- data to share.

In the 56 or so metered markets -- these are cities that have meters in which local ratings are measured and account for about 30% of the country -- "The Wanda Sykes Show" averaged a 2.2 rating and a 5 share. We're not going to waste a lot of space explaining what that translates to because one needs a degree from MIT to fully get it. Just under 30,000 homes have local meters, so a 2.2 rating would be the percentage of those homes. There is no demographic information available, and national ratings, which will be out on Thursday, will reveal much more about how Sykes did in her premiere.

But what we can tell you -- and what matters to Fox -- is that the 2.2 rating is 16% better than what "Mad TV" was averaging for Fox in the fourth quarter of last year. Sykes' rating was also 100% higher than Spike Feresten's show on Fox at the start of this year.

This is Sykes' second shot at a show on Fox. She had a short-lived sitcom on the network. She also had a variety show on Comedy Central and is a regular on CBS' "The New Adventures of Old Christine" and HBO's "Curb Your Enthusiasm."

-- Joe Flint

Photo: Wanda Sykes. Credit: Jesse Grant / Getty Images

Comments () | Archives (24)

Hopefully Fox will give Wanda a better chance than they did for her last show. If you have a chance to see one of the old shows, they were great, and given time, may have found a larger following. Good luck Wanda!

Who cares. She's not funny in anything she has appeared in, and her voice and personality are unbearably grating. She's just all around horrible.

I thought the show was uneven and generally, not very funny. The talk show portion of the show was VERY boring. Overall, I thought the show was a disappointment, although I did like her HBO special.

Also, please get rid of the transvestite. If she/he was funny, it would be great; however, she was basically wallpaper last night.

She's a wiseass that's not funny at all. Evan Oh Mighty was a harmless family movie except for every minute she opened her mouth.

I thought it was hilarious.

I didn't think she was funny. Her range is too small. She only told jokes about the president and after twenty minutes of that; it was just not interesting.

Higher ratings than MAD TV? You mean that funny show that FOX NEVER gave promotion or attention to and was a lame duck because FOX didn't renew it in the fourth quater of last year? Give me a break, lets compare what Sykes got to what MAD TV averaged the last two years, also you forgot to mention there is always heavy sampling on a first show. Remember Katie Couric's debute on CBS? Got huge numbers and dropped like a stone, I even more of a drop off (seems she didn't have great premiere numbers to start with) for Sykes.

One of the most pathetic T.V. shows to ever grace the t.v. screen! It looked like someone spent 7 minutes planning the material for this show!!

Dumb us down, Joe!

I know your editors think of readers as troglodytes (fomer newspaper reporter here). But really, we can figure out basic stats. Otherwise your preview of Wanda Sykes's performance feels suspect.

But I know your work from Variety, so I'll step out on a limb and blame your bosses - the same ones who have gutted and gradually disgraced your newspaper.


"former" stedda "fomer." But you get my drift...

Turned it off after after about 15 min. Boring.

Hi Fred,

Thanks for remembering me from Variety. Wasn't trying to review show as much as just throw some numbers out there. Alas, I didn't watch first episode. Hope to catch up this week. As for dumbing down, naah, I did that one on my own (as much as we love to blame editors, I can't in this case). Keep reading and critiquing.

Joe Flint

I wish her good luck. But FOX is banned in my home, as is anything from News Corp.

Ill be surprised if her show lasts any time

Have watched Wanda for a long time and thought she was funny, but I turned off her program in the lst 45 secs. Do not watch late night for political opinions or diatribes. I see enough of Obama daily, I do not need a picture in the background for the brainwashing affect. Bye bye Wanda-you are no longer funny.

I love wanda sykes. to say she is not funny means YOU are not funny.

Fox must be desperate to put this on the air. Simply awful.

it was raw. it was shocking . it was leaked from cable? how the hell did this get on fox? i can't wait for more... don't you dare cancel it.

How does this woman continously get TV show and movie opportunites? She's about as funny as blood in your urine. Does she have pictures of exec's being intimate with farm animals or something?

We taped her and watched at a reasonable time in the evening , and laughed heartily. We're kind of old, but she did not offend with speech, and had interesting offbeat takes on stuff.


I love Wanda Sykes as she is naturally funny about things. First time I saw her was in a movie and it was obvious she was going to move on to bigger and better things and she has since that time.

Other comedians have lamented cause they say Obama is too hard to make fun off and they were going to have a wait for a new president but Wanda had no problem...she aced her comedic act of Obama instantly.

How Fantastic! It's about time, a true comedian who can go head to head with the men. Can't wait to see her. Will let everyone know. Good for you Fox TV. Thank you for your cultural diversity. She is one of a kind and crosses color barrier and brings real life to viewers. Please let me know when it begins. Much Success Wanda, you certainly deserve it.

El Fweido, you nailed it. She is so not funny it hurts to see her given roles and lines in movies that any comic with talent could turn into a career-maker. My theory is that since she is a card-carrying lesbian lib, she must have the lesbian Hollywood casting mafia backing her. Next time you check out her movie creds, see if the casting agent is a woman. But there is no such thing as a casting couch, of course.


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