After nearly a 20-year absence, Arsenio Hall returned to late night television, pulling in encouraging ratings.
"It seems that, rather than attempt to bring himself into 2013, Arsenio brought 2013 back to him — and it totally worked," said Andy Swift of HollywoodLife.com.
"Though one reviewer noted that the host was a little rusty after nearly two decades, most heralded it as 'a walk down memory lane,' one that would likely be considered a 'success.'"
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Some, like the New York Times' Alessandra Stanley,
said she felt Hall spent too much time looking back.
"America still offers performers a second act, but a first impression can also be the last," Stanley said in her column Tuesday. "Mr. Hall, who at 57 looks maybe 19 months older than he did on his farewell show in 1994, still has energy, humor and an easy, winning manner. But he has to work harder to stand out. . . . And though Mr. Hall has said he will feature lots of rap musicians, both Jimmy Kimmel and Jimmy Fallon already do."
On the other hand, Paul Scheer wrote for The Hollywood Reporter
that Hall did not go back in time enough and said he was disappointed he didn't hear the host's former "Dog Pound" fist-pumping chant.
"The only thing noticeably missing was 'The Dog Pound.' We went for 60 minutes with nary a 'WUFF! WUFF!' And that's not cool with me," Scheer wrote Tuesday. "That's like going to a Robin Thicke concert and not hearing 'Blurred Lines.' But I'll let Arsenio slide because, aside from that, he did everything you wanted."
Variety called "The Arsenio Hall Show"
Monday numbers "promising," averaging a 1.9 rating/4 share in Nielsen’s 53 metered markets, building from its lead-in on the stations that carried it by 27 percent (1.5/3). That number was nearly double the 1.0/2 that those stations averaged in the timeslot in September of last year.
The show did better in larger markets, nabbing the No. 1 spot in Los Angeles for KTLA with a 3.2 household rating/9 share — a bump of about 90 percent from its local news lead-in (1.7/4).
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