Leno Falls Below Conan’s Tonight Show Ratings Trend, Beats Letterman

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Jay Leno’s Tonight Show 1.1 adults 18-49 rating last week (May 17-21) was the same as the previous three weeks, but for the first time in seven weeks fell below Conan O’Brien’s Tonight Show ratings trend, comparing the ratings for each show’s twelfth week. There has been no more than a tenth of an adults 19-49 ratings point difference between the two show’s ratings trends since week 5 of their runs.

Readers should note that 12 weeks into “Conan (2009-10)” was the third week of August, 2009, near the bottom of the broadcast TV year, but 12 weeks into “Leno (2010-)”, was still during the regular broadcast season.

David Letterman’s Late Show also stayed even with a 0.9 adults 18-49 rating vs. the previous week, and was again beaten by the Tonight Show as it has been each week since Jay returned.

Conan/Letterman (2009-10) week 1 ended 6/5/09. Leno/Letterman (2010-) week 1 ended 3/5/10.

The Conan/Letterman(2009-10) ratings do not include the final week the Tonight Show was in repeats prior to the Winter Olympics.

For historical reference, here are last season’s season-to-date averages through May 22, 2009:

ADULTS 18-49
11:35 p.m. ET
NBC “Tonight,” 1.4/6
CBS “Late Show,” 1.1/4
ABC “Nightline,” 1.1/4

Here were the May “sweeps” period averages for 2009:

ADULTS 18-49
11:35 p.m. ET
NBC “Tonight,” 1.4/6
CBS “Late Show,” 1.0/4
ABC “Nightline,” 1.0/4

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