Late Night TV Ratings, August 25-29, NBC Spin

Categories: Late Night TV Ratings

Written By

September 5th, 2008

NBC's late-night stars have returned from their two-week Olympic break with dominant wins, as "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" defeated CBS's "Late Show with David Letterman" at 11:35 p.m. ET by "Tonight's" biggest margins of victory in more than a year. And at 12:35 a.m., "Late Night with Conan O'Brien" delivered its biggest wins over CBS's "Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson" (in rebroadcast last week) since mid July in adults 18-49 and since August 2007 in total viewers. 

The August 25-29 week also saw Conan tie Letterman in adult 18-49 rating (0.7 each) and easily outscore Letterman in the younger half of that target demo, adults 18-34 (0.7 vs. 0.5), despite Conan's later start time. 

In a week that was impacted by overrun primetime coverage of the Democratic National Convention, "Tonight" topped Letterman by a 70 percent margin in adult 18-49 viewers and 71 percent in total viewers, while Conan outscored Ferguson by 71 percent in 18-49 and 42 percent in total viewers. Jay and Conan were especially dominant in the younger half of the target 18-49 demo, with Jay winning by an 80 percent advantage among adults 18-34 and Conan doubling Ferguson. 

Jay's 70 percent win over Letterman in 18-49 viewers is his most dominant since the week of April 2-6, 2007 and his total-viewers advantage of 71 percent is his biggest since the week of June 18-22, 2007. Conan's 71 percent win over Ferguson in 18-49 is his biggest since July 14-18, 2008 and his 42 percent victory in total viewers is his most dominant since August 6-10, 2007. 

"Tonight" continues to dominate all broadcast and cable competition, topping Comedy Central's 11 p.m. ET series "The Daily Show" in adult 18-49 viewers last week by a 79 percent margin (1.660 million adults 18-49 vs. 928,000) and beating Comedy Central's 11:30 p.m. series "The Colbert Report" by 124 percent (1.660 million vs. 740,000). "Late Night" also defeated all cable competition in its time period in adult 18-49 viewers. Versus Adult Swim programming in that hour, Conan prevailed by a margin of 67 percent (936,000 vs. 560,000). 

For the week of August 25-29, Jay's average 1.660 million adults 18-49 topped the 976,000 of Letterman; in total viewers, Jay's audience of 4.536 million persons beat Letterman's 2.654 million; and in adults 18-34, Jay's 639,000 out-delivered Letterman's 355,000. At 12:35 a.m. ET, Conan's 936,000 adults 18-49 for the week out-delivered Craig Ferguson's 548,000; in total viewers, Conan's 1.789 million beat Ferguson's 1.258 million; and in adults 18-34, Conan's 448,000 topped Ferguson's 218,000. 

At 1:35 a.m. ET for the week, encore telecasts of "Last Call with Carson Daly" tied Ferguson rebroadcasts and ABC's mostly original telecasts of "Jimmy Kimmel Live" in adult 18-49 rating (0.4 each). In the valuable adult 18-34 demographic, "Last Call" (0.4) outscored both Ferguson and Kimmel (0.3 each) while pulling within a tenth of a rating point of Letterman originals and ABC's "Nightline" originals (0.5 each). 

WEEKLY AVERAGES 
(According to in-home viewing figures from Nielsen Media Research for the week of August 25-29. Ratings reflect "live plus same day" data unless otherwise noted. Season-to-date figures are averages of "live plus seven day" data except for the two most recent weeks, which are "live plus same day.") 

ADULTS 18-49 

11:35 p.m. ET 
NBC "Tonight," 1.3/5* 
CBS "Late Show," 0.7/3* 
ABC "Nightline," 0.8/3* 

12:05 a.m. ET 
ABC "Kimmel," 0.4/2* 

12:35 a.m. ET 
NBC "Late Night," 0.7/4* 
CBS "Late Late Show," 0.4/3 (in encore telecasts)* 

1:35 a.m. ET 
NBC "Last Call," 0.4/3 (in encore telecasts)* 

TOTAL VIEWERS 

11:35 p.m. ET 
NBC "Tonight," 4.5 million viewers* 
CBS "Late Show," 2.7 million viewers* 
ABC "Nightline," 2.9 million viewers* 

12:05 a.m. ET 
ABC "Kimmel," 1.4 million viewers* 

12:35 a.m. ET 
NBC "Late Night," 1.8 million viewers* 
CBS "Late Late Show," 1.3 million viewers (in encore telecasts)* 

1:35 a.m. ET 
NBC "Last Call," 1.1 million viewers (in encore telecasts)* 

* All late-night programs experienced some delays in start times during the week due to overrun coverage of the Democratic National Convention. Monday's "Kimmel" was an encore. 

SEASON-TO-DATE AVERAGES 

ADULTS 18-49 

11:35 p.m. ET 
NBC "Tonight," 1.4/6 
CBS "Late Show," 1.0/4 
ABC "Nightline," 1.0/4 

12:05 a.m. ET 
ABC "Kimmel," 0.6/3 

12:35 a.m. ET 
NBC "Late Night," 0.8/4 
CBS "Late Late Show," 0.5/3 

1:35 a.m. ET 
NBC "Last Call," 0.4/3 

TOTAL VIEWERS 

11:35 p.m. ET 
NBC "Tonight," 4.7 million viewers 
CBS "Late Show," 3.5 million viewers 
ABC "Nightline," 3.3 million viewers 

12:05 a.m. ET 
ABC "Kimmel," 1.6 million viewers 

12:35 a.m. ET 
NBC "Late Night," 1.9 million viewers 
CBS "Late Late Show," 1.7 million viewers 

1:35 a.m. ET 
NBC "Last Call," 1.1 million viewers 

SELECTED CABLE RESULTS, WEEK OF AUGUST 25-29 

NATIONAL ADULT 18-49 RATING 

Comedy Central, 11 p.m. ET, "The Daily Show," 0.7 
Comedy Central, 11:30 p.m. ET, "The Colbert Report," 0.6 

Adult Swim, 11:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m. ET, 0.8 
Adult Swim, 12:30-1:30 a.m. ET, 0.4 

Each adult 18-49 rating point equals 1.31 million viewers 

TOTAL VIEWERS 

Comedy Central, 11 p.m. ET, "The Daily Show," 1.4 million 
Comedy Central, 11:30 p.m. ET, "The Colbert Report," 1.1 million 

Adult Swim, 11:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m. ET, 1.9 million 
Adult Swim, 12:30-1:30 a.m. ET, 1.2 million

Source: NBC Press Release

Nielsen TV Ratings Data: ©2008 The Nielsen Company. All Rights Reserved.

 
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