Note: the comparisons below are a bit apples to oranges since ABC is comparing Nightline's half hour results to the full hour results on CBS and NBC.
via press release:
ABC NEWS’ “NIGHTLINE” IS No. 1 IN TOTAL VIEWERS
IN LATE NIGHT FOR THE 2009/2010 SEASON
VICTORY MARKS “NIGHTLINE’S” FIRST SEASON WIN
AMONG TOTAL VIEWERS IN 15 YEARS
ABC News’ “Nightline” was the most watched late night program among Total Viewers for the 2009/2010 season, according to Nielsen Media Research. This marks the first time in 15 years “Nightline” has outperformed the “Tonight Show” and “The Late Show with David Letterman” in Total Viewers.
“Nightline” placed second for the season among Adults 18-49. “Nightline” tied for second with “Letterman” among Adults 25-54 for the season.
“This is a very proud day for all of us at ABC News,” said James Goldston, executive producer of “Nightline.” “Every member of our show works extraordinarily hard each day to bring great stories and unique journalism to all of our viewers. This team has earned all of the success that ‘Nightline’ has achieved in recent years.”
Throughout the 2009/2010 season, “Nightline” has featured groundbreaking investigative reports that have exposed illegal child labor practices in the blueberry fields of Michigan; the abuse of young children by Christian pastors in the Congo; loopholes in the Medicaid system leading to 80 billion dollars lost to fraud each year; possible attempts by Senator John Ensign to cover up misuse of campaign funds; the failure of the federal government to enforce workplace safety regulations leading to the deaths of blue collar workers; and the fraudulent practices by for-profit schools.
“Nightline” has continued pioneering coverage of the war in Afghanistan, building on its award-winning program “The Forgotten War.” The program filed in depth, documentary style reports about a cutting-edge military hospital in Kandahar, a bomb disposal team, drug enforcement teams and the crew of an F-15 squadron.
During the season, “Nightline” also aired numerous news making interviews, including with Alaska governor Sarah Palin; California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger; former President Bill Clinton’s first interview from Haiti after the devastating earthquake; the only in-depth interview with controversial Florida pastor Terry Jones; the first television interview with Medal of Honor winner Sal Giunta; the first in depth interview with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton since she had taken office; as well as Jesse James’ first interview post-breakup with actress Sandra Bullock; basketball player LeBron James; actress Angelina Jolie; and singer Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs.
ABC News’ “Nightline” is anchored by Cynthia McFadden, Terry Moran and Bill Weir. John Donvan and Vicki Mabrey are correspondents. James Goldston is the executive producer. The program airs weeknights at 11:35 p.m., ET on the ABC Television Network.
(Average for 09/10 Season)
TOTAL VIEWERS A25-54(000)/ Rtg A18-49(000)/ Rtg
ABC “Nightline” 3,710,000 1,540,000/ 1.2 1,260,000/ 1.0
CBS “Late Show” 3,630,000 1,540,000/ 1.2 1,200,000/ 0.9
NBC “Tonight” 3,500,000 1,650,000/ 1.3 1,430,000/ 1.1
Source: The Nielsen Company, NTI Total Viewers, Adults 25-54 & Adults 18-49 Live+7 (where available) & Live+SD for the 09/10 season (9/21/09-9/19/10)