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Wanda Sykes makes her late-night debut

November 8, 2009 |  9:51 am

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