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TV ratings: James Franco Comedy Central roast beats Roseanne

TV ratings: James Franco Comedy Central roast beats Roseanne
James Franco on the red carpet for the film "Palo Alto" at the Venice Film Festival. (Andrew Medichini / Associated Press)

About 3.1 million people tuned in to watch celebrities and comedians bash and praise James Franco on Comedy Central Monday night, significantly more than last year's mass takedown of Roseanne Barr. 

The "Comedy Central Roast of James Franco's" total viewership was 18% more than the Roseanne telecast, the network said, using Nielsen statistics. The show garnered a rating of 2.2 in the advertiser-coveted adults 18-49 demographic, up 30% from Roseanne.

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Franco's turn in the hot seat, where he took shots from the likes of Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill and Aziz Ansari, drew 1.2 million viewers in the male 18-34 category for a rating of 4.3. Unsurprisingly, it was a big increase from Roseanne's showing in that demographic, up 64%.

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Still, Franco couldn't top the roast of Charlie Sheen in 2011, which still holds the Comedy Central roast record, with 6.4 million viewers. That telecast got a big assist from the buzz around Ashton Kutcher's debut on "Two and a Half Men," which aired on the same night.

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The Franco roast generated about 334,000 mentions on Twitter, according to Trendrr, making it the most tweeted-about telecast of the night. USA's "WWE Monday Night Raw" drew more than 260,000 tweets.

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Comedy Central aired two additional plays of the Franco bash, boosting total viewership to 5.2 million.

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