Late Night TV Ratings For The Week Of April 30 - May 4, 2012

Categories: Late Night TV Ratings,Network TV Press Releases,Weekly Late Night TV Ratings

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May 10th, 2012

To see past week's Late Night TV ratings information click here.

Via NBC's Press Release




UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. – May 10, 2012 – NBC’s late-night lineup has generated #1 results for the week of April 30-May 4, delivering bigger audiences in adults 18-49 and total viewers than the time-period competition on ABC and CBS. At 11:35 p.m. ET, “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” topped CBS's "Late Show with David Letterman" and ABC's combination of "Nightline" and "Jimmy Kimmel Live" for the week, while at 12:35 a.m., “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” bested CBS’s “Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson” and the second half of ABC’s “Kimmel” head to head. Note that Friday’s “Kimmel” was an encore.

“Tonight” out-delivered “Late Show” in all key categories -- adults, men and women 18-34, 18-49 and 25-54, plus total viewers -- and Jimmy Fallon attracted bigger audiences than “Late Late Show” in every key category as well.

Jay generated his biggest 18-49 audience (1.045 million persons) in seven weeks (since the week of March 12-16) and Jimmy Fallon delivered his biggest 18-49 audience (699,000) and biggest overall audience (1.715 million) in 11 weeks (since February 13-17).

Through the first 33 weeks of the season, "Tonight" has increased its total-viewer margin over "Late Show" to 15 percent (3.716 million vs. 3.223 million), up from the year-ago season-to-date advantage of 8 percent. Jimmy Fallon has also established a total-viewer lead over "Late Late Show" this season of 15 percent (1.765 million vs. 1.533 million), up from last year's advantage of 0.3 percent. Jimmy has also increased his season-to-date lead over "Late Late Show" in adults 18-34, to 39 percent (276,000 vs. 198,000) up from last year's 23 percent, and in adults 25-54, to 11 percent (866,000 vs. 781,000) up from 2 percent at this point last season.

"Tonight" delivered a bigger 18-49 audience than "Late Show" for the 17th time in 20 weeks while Jimmy Fallon attracted a bigger 18-49 audience than "Late Late Show" for a 23rd week in a row.

(According to in-home viewing figures from Nielsen Media Research for the week of April 30 – May 4. Ratings reflect “live plus same day” data from Nielsen Media Research 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.-12:35 a.m. ET
NBC “Tonight,” 0.8 rating, 3 share
CBS “Late Show,” 0.7/3

11:35 p.m.-12 midnight ET
ABC “Nightline,” 0.9/3

12 midnight-1 a.m. ET
ABC “Kimmel,” 0.5/3*

12:35-1:35 a.m. ET
NBC “Late Night,” 0.5/3
CBS “Late Late Show,” 0.4/2

1:35-2:05 a.m. ET
NBC “Last Call,” 0.3/2*


11:35 p.m.-12:35 a.m. ET
NBC “Tonight,” 3.6 million viewers
CBS “Late Show,” 3.1 million viewers

11:35 p.m.-12 midnight ET
ABC “Nightline,” 3.9 million viewers

12 midnight-1 a.m. ET
ABC “Kimmel,” 1.9 million viewers*

12:35-1:35 a.m. ET
NBC “Late Night,” 1.7 million viewers
CBS “Late Late Show,” 1.5 million viewers

1:35-2:05 a.m. ET
NBC “Last Call,” 0.9 million viewers*

* Friday’s “Last Call” and “Kimmel” were encores.


ADULTS 18-49

11:35 p.m.-12:35 a.m. ET
NBC “Tonight,” 0.9 rating, 3 share
CBS “Late Show,” 0.8/3

11:35 p.m.-12 midnight ET
ABC “Nightline,” 0.9/3

12 midnight-1 a.m. ET
ABC “Kimmel,” 0.5/2

12:35-1:35 a.m. ET
NBC “Late Night,” 0.6/3
CBS “Late Late Show,” 0.5/3

1:35-2:05 a.m. ET
NBC “Last Call,” 0.3/2


11:35 p.m.-12:35 a.m. ET
NBC “Tonight,” 3.7 million viewers
CBS “Late Show,” 3.2 million viewers

11:35 p.m.-12 midnight ET
ABC “Nightline,” 3.9 million viewers

12 midnight-1 a.m. ET
ABC “Kimmel,” 1.8 million viewers

12:35-1:35 a.m. ET
NBC “Late Night,” 1.8 million viewers
CBS “Late Late Show,” 1.5 million viewers

1:35-2:05 a.m. ET
NBC “Last Call,” 1.0 million viewers




Comedy Central, 11-11:30 p.m. ET, “The Daily Show,” 0.7
Comedy Central, 11:30 p.m.-midnight ET, “The Colbert Report,” 0.5

TBS, 11 p.m.-midnight, “Conan,” 0.4 (in encore telecasts)

Adult Swim, 11:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m. ET, 0.9
Adult Swim, 12:30-1:30 a.m. ET, 0.7

Each adult 18-49 rating point equals 1.28 million viewers


Comedy Central, 11-11:30 p.m. “The Daily Show,” 1.7 million
Comedy Central, 11:30 p.m.-midnight ET, “The Colbert Report,” 1.2 million

TBS, 11 p.m.-midnight, “Conan,” 0.8 million (in encore telecasts)

Adult Swim, 11:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m. ET, 2.0 million
Adult Swim, 12:30-1:30 a.m. ET, 1.5 million



  • Charles

    Leno sinks a bit more……and the others sink along…..

    Some king of late night.

  • Robert Marino


    First 6 weeks of 2012 (from January 2 – Feb10):

    Second 6 weeks of 2012 (from Feb. 13-Mar.23):

    Third 6 weeks of 2012 (from Mar. 26- May 4):

    The entire year (so far) (in miniature (sorry!)):

    In addition, a certain attempt has been made to accommodate those who say such lists are “comparing apples with oranges”: all shows starting at 11pm (The Daily Show, Conan) have, in the table, a red background; those shows starting at 11:30 or 11:35 have, in the table, a blue background; the one show starting at 12 (Jimmy Kimmel Live) has, in the table, a green background; and Fallon’s and Ferguson’s shows, both starting at 12:35, have a yellow background.

    Nonetheless, it should be remembered that shows are of different length (some a half hour long, some an hour), which skews the data. It would be to certain shows’ advantage (such as The Tonight Show) to give half hour breakdowns, but, since they don’t, it can be reasonably inferred that the reason they don’t is the same reason that this site does not provide a list of the top 100 shows each week: they are prohibited from doing so by the Nielsen company, since doing so would undercut Nielsen’s business, which is to sell this information for profit.

    Also, don’t be misled by the different colors: even though Conan’s show is in “red”, and Kimmel’s show is in “green”, they are both, through half their length, competitor’s of Tonight, The Late Show, and Adult Swim, which are in “blue”.

    An earlier attempt at color coding can be found here:

    The different colors of the icons stood out more remarkably in this early attempt, but Letterman’s face was difficult to see, and some of the other faces looked ghoulish, so this attempt was abandoned in favor of the above. Still, I’d be interested in comments comparing the two looks and which seems easier for the eye to follow.

    Photostream of all above tables in reverse order:

    Finally, a tip of the hat to JBS for the idea of color coding.

    Hope this can prove of use to some of you…

  • Gary Middleton

    “Leno sinks a bit more”

    Incorrect, Leno was up this week. The shocker is Dave’s 0.68 with a full week of 10 p.m. hits in front of him. Never would’ve predicted he’d skid like that at the height of the CBS season.

  • Gary Middleton

    Amazing, Robert!

  • Gary Middleton

    Big Bang reruns on TBS hit a year-to-date low and pull Conan down pretty sharply this week. What’s going on with TBS at 10:30? NBA playoffs pulling away viewers? College exams? Are people finally growing weary of Sheldon and Leonard?

    Interesting moment for TBS to announce a raft of original programming.

  • GARebelman

    BBT doesn’t have that many episodes so they are just in a constant rotation in syndication. The novelty can’t go on forever.

    Gee, Conan on Letterman. Wonder who they’ll talk about? 20 minutes discussing their hate of Jay Leno.

  • Marcus

    I’ll take two people who were royally screwed by Jay Leno for $1000.00, Alex…

    No…they’re two masterful comedians…they’ll have fun. Conan may hate Jay, but I don’t think Dave does. He has known Leno for decades, and knows, as Leno’s contemporaries know, that Leno is self serving and a sneak.

    But Jay will then go cry on Oprah’s channel and tell her he was suckerpunched.

    Maybe Jay will do Headlines…oh them headlines is so funny!

  • Mike

    More eye popping numbers that these men in suits are getting paid tons of money for these pathetic scores.

    Yeah, Letterman is not holding onto good leadins, but neither, really, is Leno. Even on a good night with The Voice he can barely crack a 3.0 now.

    I’d still bet that at least one-two nights a week this summer Leno will sink below 3 million viewers, maybe as low as 2.5 million, and Letterman will come close to 2 million. Repeat airings will be just awful.

    Leno ought to have his parking pass revoked now. CBS must just be thinking they have the prestige of having David Letterman and that must be worth the money.

  • Gary Middleton

    “I’d still bet that at least one-two nights a week this summer Leno will sink below 3 million viewers”

    Mike, I believe that’s a shift from your earlier prediction that he would have a week of new episodes below 3 million. And un-trackable since we don’t get viewer numbers for individual nights. For all we know he has already had lots of nights with less than 3 million.

    I appreciate not liking Jay and all that, but this is a strange moment for all that to pour out. Jay leveled Dave hard in the middle of sweeps with a huge lead-in deficit, and certainly topped Nightline too.

  • Gary Middleton

    GAR, it’s a really interesting tug of war between a guy who seems like he doesn’t want to talk about Leno and a guy who can’t stop beating the topic to death.

    Dave will surely want the viral clip that comes from the Leno subject. But the fact that guys like Letterman and Stern need to talk about Leno to get anyone excited- and it gets fewer and fewer excited- is kind of bad for their case.

    I do think Stern on AGT is a great idea and will be very successful for both Stern and AGT.

  • Mike

    Do I like Jay? Nothing against him. Harmless little show. Little to write home about. Same with them all…except Craig Ferguson.

    I am of the age when the great Carson would pull in 12-13 million people per night…though I know people will whine that it was with little competition. I am of the age when a CBS powerhouse like Carol Burnett and others would pull in dozens of millions. Now a primetime show is considered a hit with a small fraction of that. People fawn all over Leno for getting a .08, which a decade ago was certain cancellation. And now cable news shows beat network news shows, and cable late night shows beating network late night shows. And network suits keep writing big checks to these people.

    I’m one of the defectors. What’s worth watching on TV anymore? I get Letterman highlights on my ROKU. That’s all I need. Our national viewing habits are changing drastically, and it’s utterly fascinating.

    I still predict Leno and the others will continue to sink. If you’re right that Leno is fired again, he’ll be going out with a demo .5 or .6. Letterman below that.

    And there will be 18 Kardashian shows on television.

  • Gary Middleton

    Mike, I think your case works in Jay’s favor. Carson and Burnett didn’t do better because of their powerhouse talent, they did better because of the era in which they were on TV. Johnny Carson in the year 2012 with NBC in its current state would be lucky to do 0.8. That fact doesn’t reflect on anybody’s ability, nor the question of whether they earn their big check.

    Ferguson just negotiated a huge check too. Those cable guys you speak of? Big checks. Drawing even a small crowd is so tough these days that maybe guys who can do it are an even bigger commodity.

  • GARebelman

    There were what, three TV stations in the Carson era? The forth popped up (FOX0 and that pissed Carson off when various others (The one who cut in to his demo was probably Arsenio). Today, its 5 broadcast and 100s of cable stations. There is a ice cream flavor for everybody on every station at that hour.

    Looks sadder and sadder when folks rank about Jay constantly on TV. Jay doesn’t have to promote his show anymore when his supposed enemies do it for him.

  • Mike

    I knew somebody would whine about Carson’s competition…and would read that there was a Leno slam when there isn’t one.

    Yeah, the Leno slamming, deserved or not, gets old…and so does the poor Jay whining.

  • Jeffrey

    True. There’s much vitriol against Leno, and the debate could rage as to whether it is deserved. But there’s just as much against Letterman and the others.

    I’d bet Leno would give a rat’s ass. He’s just counting his money at this point. You will not find any site that calls him a comic genius. He’ll never win the critics over. But he probably doesn’t care…so I don’t get why others do.

  • Gary Middleton

    “so does the poor Jay whining”

    You made that up. The comments weren’t about Jay, they were about TV in one era vs. another. Jay nor any other late night hosts of this era are poor by any definition. Nor the people on any prime time show. Nor daytime show. Will they all have substantially lower viewership than comparable shows 30 years earlier? Yes, of course.

  • Jeffrey

    Nonsense. Almost every time that Jay Leno is criticized here somebody leaps to the conclusion that he is a great martyr…

  • Joe

    Personally, I don’t find Leno to be too entertaining anymore. I like Fallon and Letterman a lot better. But don’t make Jay look like a loser. Jay’s show worked for a very long time and had great success, but he has lost momentum over time, thus the quality of his show has as well. Personally, I only think his bits with his correspondent Jim Norton are the best thing that show has going on for them.

  • Gary Middleton

    “Nonsense. Almost every time that Jay Leno is criticized here somebody leaps to the conclusion that he is a great martyr…”

    Show me one example from this thread.

  • Gary Middleton

    Is the Conan/BBT slide as simple as the end of the college school year?

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