With all the hype about Keith Olbermann's brief suspension and his triumphant return to MSNBC Tuesday, one would have expected his ratings to explode as first-time viewers tuned in to see what all the fuss was about.
When the dust settled, the "Countdown" host's total viewers rose 35 percent from last Thursday's show before the controversy began, but most embarrassingly, Rachel Maddow actually bested the most conceited man on television in the all important 25-54 year-old demographic (via Steve Krakauer):
Maddow had 439,000 in the A25-54 demographic, compared to 426,000 for Olbermann. In total viewers, Olbermann won, 1,499,000 to 1,321,000.
On Thursday, Olbermann had 1,114,000 total viewers compared to Maddow's 1,153,000.
So, they both got a nice bump, but certainly not what you would have expected from all the attention he got Friday through Tuesday. I frankly expected him to break the two million barrier with all that hype.
Not only wasn't that the case, Olbermann and Maddow were as usual destroyed by their respective competitors at Fox News as Bill O'Reilly attracted 3.8 million viewers while Sean Hannity came in at 3.3 million.
Even funnier, almost 17 million people tuned in to watch Bristol Palin survive another round of "Dancing With The Stars."
Makes you wonder which bothers Olbermann more: Maddow or Sarah Palin's daughter getting higher ratings than him.
Of greatest interest will be what happens in the coming days. If Olbermann's numbers head back to the million mark he's been basically stuck at for years, it will be an indication that the vast majority of first-time viewers tuning in to see what the fuss was all about decided it was much ado about nothing.