Early returns illuminating for 'Poker After Dark'

Phil Ivey

Only three weeks in to its run, NBC's late-night poker show, "Poker After Dark," is climbing the ratings.

Early returns already show it out-pacing the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson in some brackets and creeping up behind Jimmy Kimmel as well.

The one-hour "Poker After Dark," hosted by Shana Hiatt, launched Jan. 2 on NBC with five one-hour shows Monday to Friday at 2:00 a.m. A "Director's Cut" with outtakes and bloopers also airs right after Saturday Night Live on the weekends.

The show features some of the world's best poker players, including Phil Ivey and Phil Hellmuth, putting up $20,000 each and playing six-handed freeze-outs with a winner-take-all first prize of $120,000.

The first few weeks have already featured some classic moments, including a huge blow-up by Hellmuth.

For the week of Jan. 8-13, the show outranked Ferguson with the 18-34 demographic and was barely behind the Jimmy Kimmel show, despite the fact it airs up to two hours later.

This week's show features Tony G., Mike Matusow, Hellmuth, Ivey and Andy Bloch.

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