Jay Leno and Conan O’Brien deliver decisive late-night wins in Q4

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via press release:

JAY LENO AND CONAN O’BRIEN DELIVER DECISIVE LATE-NIGHT WINS FOR THE FOURTH QUARTER OF 2008
JAY GENERATES HIS 53RD CONSECUTIVE QUARTERLY WIN AND UNDEFEATED CONAN MAKES IT 56 STRAIGHT QUARTERS IN FIRST PLACE

IN 18-49 VIEWERS, JAY WINS OVER ‘LATE SHOW’ BY A 19 PERCENT MARGIN AND CONAN PREVAILS OVER ‘LATE LATE SHOW’ BY 26 PERCENT; IN ADULTS 18-34, JAY SURGES TO A 37 PERCENT VICTORY AND CONAN WINS BY 62 PERCENT

FOR THE WEEK OF DEC. 22-26, JAY AND CONAN ATTRACT THEIR BIGGEST OVERALL AUDIENCES IN NEARLY A YEAR

UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. – January 5, 2009 – NBC’s “Tonight Show with Jay Leno” and “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” have delivered convincing victories over all broadcast and cable competition in late-night ratings results for the fourth quarter of 2008, with Jay securing his 53rd consecutive quarter-long victory in adults 18-49 (including ties) and undefeated Conan extending his unbeaten streak to 56 straight first-place quarters.

At 11:35 p.m. ET, “Tonight” won the time period over CBS’s “Late Show with David Letterman” by a 19 percent margin in adult 18-49 viewers and 25 percent in total viewers. At 12:35 a.m., Conan led the fourth quarter over CBS’s “Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson” with winning margins of 26 percent in 18-49 and 4 percent in total viewers. Both Jay and Conan stretched their leads among younger adults, with Jay topping Letterman for the quarter by a 37 percent advantage among adults 18-34 and Conan achieving a 62 percent margin over Ferguson.

Jay and Conan completed the quarter with dominant wins for the week of December 22-26 (with no Wednesday through Friday results included due to the Christmas holiday), as both NBC late-night shows attracted their biggest overall audiences in nearly a year. Jay’s 5.7 million viewers and Conan’s 2.4 million for the week are the top marks for each show respectively since the week of December 31, 2007-January 4, 2008. In 18-49, Jay’s 1.5 rating matches his highest since the week of February 18-22, 2008 and Conan’s 0.9 is his highest since the week of February 11-15, 2008.

At 1:35 a.m. ET for the quarter, “Last Call with Carson Daly” finished within a tenth of a rating point of Ferguson and ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live” in 18-49. In the valuable adult 18-34 category, “Last Call” tied Kimmel and Ferguson for the quarter (0.4 ratings each).

Among adults 18-49, “Tonight” has now won 53 quarters in a row (including ties), 51 sweep months in a row and 13 consecutive television seasons.

Conan has won over “Late Late” competition for 56 consecutive quarters, 56 sweep months in a row and 14 straight television seasons.

For the fourth quarter of 2008, Jay’s average 1.773 million adults 18-49 topped the 1.494 million of Letterman; in total viewers, Jay’s audience of 5.010 million persons beat Letterman’s 3.993 million; and in adults 18-34, Jay’s 723,000 out-scored Letterman’s 526,000. At 12:35 a.m., Conan’s 998,000 adults 18-49 for the week out-delivered Ferguson’s 793,000; in total viewers, Conan’s 1.971 million beat Ferguson’s 1.901 million; and in adults 18-34, Conan’s 491,000 topped Ferguson’s 303,000.

WEEKLY AVERAGES
(According to in-home viewing figures from Nielsen Media Research for the week of December 22-26. 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,” 1.0/4*
ABC “Nightline,” 0.9/3*

12:05 a.m. ET
ABC “Kimmel,” 0.5/2*

12:35 a.m. ET
NBC “Late Night,” 0.9/5*
CBS “Late Late Show,” 0.6/3*

1:35 a.m. ET
NBC “Last Call,” 0.5/4*

TOTAL VIEWERS

11:35 p.m. ET
NBC “Tonight,” 5.7 million viewers*
CBS “Late Show,” 3.8 million viewers*
ABC “Nightline,” 3.5 million viewers*

12:05 a.m. ET
ABC “Kimmel,” 1.6 million viewers*

12:35 a.m. ET
NBC “Late Night,” 2.4 million viewers*
CBS “Late Late Show,” 1.8 million viewers*

1:35 a.m. ET
NBC “Last Call,” 1.4 million viewers*

* Most programs were preempted on Wednesday and all Wednesday through Friday results are excluded from these averages due to the Christmas holiday. Tuesday’s Kimmel was an encore.

FOURTH QUARTER/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,” 0.8/4
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,” 5.0 million viewers
CBS “Late Show,” 4.0 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,” 2.0 million viewers
CBS “Late Late Show,” 1.9 million viewers

1:35 a.m. ET
NBC “Last Call,” 1.2 million viewers

SELECTED CABLE RESULTS, WEEK OF DECEMBER 22-26

NATIONAL ADULT 18-49 RATING

Comedy Central, 11 p.m. ET, “The Daily Show,” preempted
Comedy Central, 11:30 p.m. ET, “The Colbert Report,” preempted

Adult Swim, 11:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m. ET, 0.6
Adult Swim, 12:30-1:30 a.m. ET, 0.4

Each adult 18-49 rating point equals 1.32 million viewers

TOTAL VIEWERS

Comedy Central, 11 p.m. ET, “The Daily Show,” preempted
Comedy Central, 11:30 p.m. ET, “The Colbert Report,” preempted

Adult Swim, 11:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m. ET, 1.7 million
Adult Swim, 12:30-1:30 a.m. ET, 0.9 million

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