Updated: in the local people meter markets Leno was twice as popular with adults 18-49, scoring a 2.0 rating vs a 1.0 rating for Letterman.
In the metered market houshold ratings between 11:30p-12:30a Jay Leno's return to The Tonight Show dominated Leterman and Late Show. Leno had a 5.4/14 (household rating/share) to Letterman's 3.0/8.
Sure, Leno's first night back (and perhaps first week or two back) is likely inflated by a post-Olympic halo, but the early indication is "all is forgiven."
Nightline had a 3.4/8 between 11:30p-12:00a.
While much higher than Conan's Q4 average, these numbers were down ~25% from the heavily promoted debut of Conan O'Brien last June
Note these are household ratings and not the 18-49 ratings we typically report. We should have the local people meter data for the 18-49 data a bit later in the morning.
9:07am Pacific Update: More on the Adults 18-49 Ratings From Local People Meters
In the 25 markets with Local People Meters, “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” (2.0/9) ranked #1 among the major networks in the time period over "Late Show" (1.0/4), "Nightline" (1.5/6) and "Jimmy Kimmel Live" (0.9/5). The "Tonight" margin over "Late Show" in adults 18-49 in the Local People Meter markets is 100 percent.
11am Pacific Update: Adjusted numbers from the Fast National ratings.
In Late-Night Fast Nationals Monday Night:
- "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" (1.6 rating in adults 18-49) led the time period over CBS's "Late Show with David Letterman" (1.1) and ABC's "Nightline (1.3) in fast national "live plus same day" ratings from Nielsen Media Research. The "Tonight" margin over "Late Show" in fast-national adult 18-49 rating is 45 percent.
- In total viewers in the fast nationals, “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” (6.6 million) ranked #1 among the major networks in the time period over "Late Show" (3.8 million) and "Nightline" (4.1 million). The "Tonight" margin over "Late Show" in total viewers in these fast-national results is 73 percent.
- At 12:35 a.m., "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" (0.7 in adults 18-49) out-delivered CBS's "Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson" (0.5) by a margin of 40 percent in these fast nationals. In total viewers, "Late Night" (2.1 million viewers overall) topped "Late Late Show" (1.8 million) by a margin of 16 percent.
Nobody should be surprised at all about the numbers for Leno's first night back. The real test will be where things are in a month or two.