The roast, taped March 14 and featuring Kevin Hart as roast master, averaged a 2.6 rating/9 share in adults 18-49 and 4.4 million viewers overall from 10 p.m. to midnight, according to Nielsen. The tune-in far exceeded the roasts in recent years of Donald Trump in March 2011 (3.48 million), James Franco in September 2013 (3.11 million) and Roseanne Barr in August 2012 (2.64 million).
Charlie Sheen’s roast in September 2011, which drew 6.43 million viewers, remains the most-watched of 14 roasts to date for Comedy Central. The only other one to outdraw Bieber’s on Monday was Jeff Foxworthy in 2005.
In 18-49, the Bieber roast ranked second to NBC’s “The Voice” (3.2 rating) among all primetime programs Monday. And in both men 18-49 (2.7 rating) and men 18-34 (3.6), it was No. 1. Nearly 53% of the 18-49 audience was male, according to Nielsen.
As might be expected, the “Roast of Justin Bieber” was also a big draw on social media, ranking No. 1 among all shows on television Monday with over 1.3 million mentions and more than 40 roast-related trending topics worldwide. Nearly 2 million people generated over 3 million posts, comments, likes and shares regarding the Roast of Justin Bieber, aka #BieberRoast, on Facebook.
Roast topics included Bieber’s rocky romance with Selena Gomez and his numerous run-ins with the law. Shaquille O’Neal, Martha Stewart, Ludacris, Snoop Dogg and Hannibal Buress were among those zinging the 21-year-old Bieber, the youngest person to be roasted on the network.