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ABC’s “Kimmel” Ratings Surge for Taylor Swift Appearance

Two months ago, NBC learned that a late night interview with Taylor Swift is not a ticket to ratings magic. Neither her appearance on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” nor her visit to “Late Night with Seth Meyers” drew particularly impressive marks.

Thursday, ABC proved that featuring musical performances in addition to an interview is, however, a way to draw strong numbers.

Thursday’s episode of “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” which featured an interview with Swift, an interview with Alfred Enoch and outdoor renditions of her “Shake it Off” and “Out of the Woods,” drew an impressive 3.0 overnight household rating. Easily the best “Kimmel” number this week, it bests the 2.0 delivered by the Wednesday and Tuesday airings and the 2.1 posted on Monday.

The episode, meanwhile, drew a 1.1 adults 18-49 rating in the twenty five markets with local people meters. That, too, represents a significant improvement for a show that delivered a 0.7 Wednesday and Tuesday and a 0.5 on Monday.

To put the performance into perspective, ratings for the Swift episode roughly mirror those of the episode that aired following the midseason “Scandal” premiere last February. That “Kimmel” episode, which featured a visit from “Scandal” star Kerry Washington, drew the same 3.0 overnight household number and a slightly stronger 1.2 in adults 18-49 for the LPM markets.

Swift has relied extensively on ABC to promote her new album “1989.” In addition to first announcing the album in an ABC News live stream, Swift has promoted her tracks on “Good Morning America” and is due to appear on both that show and ABC’s “The View” next week.

Written by Brian Cantor

Brian Cantor is the editor-in-chief for Headline Planet. He has been a leading reporter in the music, movie, television and sporting spaces since 2002.

Brian's reporting has been cited by major websites like BuzzFeed, Billboard, the New Yorker and The Fader -- and shared by celebrities like Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber and Nicki Minaj.

Contact Brian at brian.cantor[at]


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