Her years of scandal long behind her, Monica Lewinsky made her debut as a national TV host Monday night, and the early returns appear promising.
Lewinsky, made infamous in the late 1990s for a dalliance with then-U.S. President Bill Clinton, got off to a good start as host of the new Fox reality series "Mr. Personality," according to preliminary data from Nielsen Media Research on Tuesday.
"Mr. Personality," in which a woman contestant has to choose among 20 suitors who wear masks and cannot reveal their ages, occupations or financial status, drew about 12.1 million viewers, on average, in the 9 p.m. time slot, second to comedy repeats on CBS.
But where the show excelled was in the demographic of audiences aged 18 to 49, the market considered most important by advertisers. The show drew a 5.6 rating, best in the hour and second-best of any show for the night. One rating point represents 1 percent of homes with television sets.
The show also drew a 14 share, meaning that 14 percent of audiences aged 18 to 49 who were watching TV during the period watched Lewinsky introduce the show's bachelors, explain the game's rules and inform the first 10 unlucky contestants that they had been cast aside.
The 10 remaining bachelors range in age from 25 to 35, and according to Fox, there is at least one millionaire among the bunch, as well as one unemployed man.
In a light-hearted interview on the Fox Web site, Lewinsky, who also hawks handbags on her Web site The Real Monica (www.therealmonica.com
), said there were certain disadvantages in her own life when it came to dating, particularly blind dates.
"It's a bit unfair to me, you know, the guy knows what I look like but I don't know what they look like!" she said.
In the same interviews, Lewinsky also played down her preparations for the job. "I think that I was asked to do this, just to come in and be myself, so hopefully that's what I'm doing and it'll work!"