JAY LENO AND CONAN O'BRIEN DELIVER THEIR BIGGEST OVERALL AUDIENCES IN 11 MONTHS

Categories: Late Night TV Ratings,Network TV Press Releases

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December 18th, 2008

via press release:

TUESDAY'S 'TONIGHT' SCORES THE SHOW'S TOP 18-49 RATING ON ANY NIGHT OF THE WEEK SINCE AUG. 8, THE NIGHT OF THE OLYMPIC OPENING CEREMONY 

'Last Call' JOINS 'TONIGHT' AND 'LATE NIGHT' IN GENERATING ITS BIGGEST OVERALL AUCIENCE SINCE NEW YEAR'S WEEK 

UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. – December 18, 2008 – NBC's late-night champs have delivered dominant victories for the week of December 8-12 over all cable and broadcast competition, with "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" and "Late Night with Conan O'Brien" amassing their biggest overall audiences in more than 11 months. Jay won the 11:35 p.m. ET hour over CBS' "Late Show with David Letterman" by a 29 percent margin in 18-49 viewers and "Late Night with Conan O'Brien" defeated CBS's "Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson" at 12:35 a.m. by 26 percent. 

Jay's 1.5 rating for the week in adults 18-49 is his highest in seven months (since the week of April 28-May 5). Conan's 0.8 rating matches his highest in 10 months (since February 11-15). In total viewers, Jay's 5.6 million persons and Conan's 2.2 million are both highs since the week of December 31, 2007-January 4, 2008. At 1:35 a.m. ET, NBC's "Last Call with Carson Daly" also generated its biggest overall audience (1.3 million) since New Year's week. 

The Tuesday telecast of "Tonight" scored a 1.7 rating in adults 18-49, the highest for the show on any night of the week since August 8, the night of the Olympic Opening Ceremony. On the Tuesday, Dec. 9 "Tonight," Jay discussed his decision, announced earlier that day, to remain at NBC with a weeknight series stripped in the 10 p.m. hour starting in the second half of 2009. 

For the December 8-12 week, "Tonight" out-rated all cable competition, topping Comedy Central's 11 p.m. ET series "The Daily Show" in adult 18-49 viewers by a 98 percent margin (1.983 million adults 18-49 vs. 999,000) and beating Comedy Central's 11:30 p.m. series "The Colbert Report" by 154 percent (1.983 million vs. 781,000). Conan also defeated all cable competition in his time period in adult 18-49 viewers. Versus Adult Swim programming in that hour, Conan prevailed by a margin of 76 percent (1.082 million vs. 616,000). 

Season to date, Jay is delivering an 18 percent margin of victory over Letterman in adult 18-49 viewers and a 25 percent advantage in total viewers, while Conan's leads over Ferguson are 25 percent in 18-49 and 3 percent in total viewers. Both Jay and Conan pull away among younger adults, with Jay leading the season by a 37 percent margin among adult 18-34 viewers and Conan winning by 59 percent. 

For the week, Jay's average 1.983 million adults 18-49 topped the 1.535 million of Letterman; in total viewers, Jay's audience of 5.596 million persons beat Letterman's 3.924 million; and in adults 18-34, Jay's 845,000 out-delivered Letterman's 523,000. At 12:35 a.m. ET, Conan's 1.082 million adults 18-49 for the week out-delivered Ferguson's 857,000; in total viewers, Conan's 2.187 million trailed Ferguson's 1.958 million; and in adults 18-34, Conan's 559,000 topped Ferguson's 312,000. 

At 1:35 a.m. ET for the week, "Last Call" finished within a tenth of a rating point of both Ferguson and ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live" in adults 18-49. In the valuable adult 18-34 category, "Last Call" (0.5 rating) tied Ferguson (0.5) and beat Kimmel (0.4). 

WEEKLY AVERAGES 
(According to in-home viewing figures from Nielsen Media Research for the week of December 8-12. 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," 1.5 rating, 6 share 
CBS "Late Show," 1.2/5 
ABC "Nightline," 1.1/4 

12:05 a.m. ET 
ABC "Kimmel," 0.6/3* 

12:35 a.m. ET 
NBC "Late Night," 0.8/5 
CBS "Late Late Show," 0.6/4 

1:35 a.m. ET 
NBC "Last Call," 0.5/4* 

TOTAL VIEWERS 

11:35 p.m. ET 
NBC "Tonight," 5.6 million viewers 
CBS "Late Show," 3.9 million viewers 
ABC "Nightline," 3.9 million viewers 

12:05 a.m. ET 
ABC "Kimmel," 1.7 million viewers* 

12:35 a.m. ET 
NBC "Late Night," 2.2 million viewers 
CBS "Late Late Show," 2.0 million viewers 

1:35 a.m. ET 
NBC "Last Call," 1.3 million viewers* 

* Friday's "Last Call" and Monday's Kimmel were encores. 

SEASON TO DATE 

ADULTS 18-49 

11:35 p.m. ET 
NBC "Tonight," 1.3/5 
CBS "Late Show," 1.1/5 
ABC "Nightline," 1.1/4 

12:05 a.m. ET 
ABC "Kimmel," 0.6/3 

12:35 a.m. ET 
NBC "Late Night," 0.7/4 
CBS "Late Late Show," 0.6/3 

1:35 a.m. ET 
NBC "Last Call," 0.5/3 

TOTAL VIEWERS 

11:35 p.m. ET 
NBC "Tonight," 4.9 million viewers 
CBS "Late Show," 3.9 million viewers 
ABC "Nightline," 4.0 million viewers 

12:05 a.m. ET 
ABC "Kimmel," 1.8 million viewers 

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

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

SELECTED CABLE RESULTS, WEEK OF DECEMBER 8-12 

NATIONAL ADULT 18-49 RATING 

Comedy Central, 11 p.m. ET, "The Daily Show," 0.8 
Comedy Central, 11:30 p.m. ET, "The Colbert Report," 0.6 

Adult Swim, 11:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m. ET, 0.7 
Adult Swim, 12:30-1:30 a.m. ET, 0.5 

Each adult 18-49 rating point equals 1.32 million viewers 

TOTAL VIEWERS 

Comedy Central, 11 p.m. ET, "The Daily Show," 1.7 million 
Comedy Central, 11:30 p.m. ET, "The Colbert Report," 1.2 million 

Adult Swim, 11:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m. ET, 1.7 million 
Adult Swim, 12:30-1:30 a.m. ET, 1.1 million

 
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