Late Night TV Ratings For The Week Of May 7 - May 11, 2012

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

Written By

May 17th, 2012

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

Via NBC's Press Release










UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. – May 17, 2012 – NBC’s “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” has delivered #1 rankings in viewers 18-49 and total viewers for the week of May 7-11, generating bigger audiences in adults 18-49 and total viewers than its time-period competition of CBS's "Late Show with David Letterman" and ABC's combination of "Nightline" and "Jimmy Kimmel Live."


At 12:35 a.m. ET, NBC’s "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" ranked #1 ahead of CBS's "Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson" and head to head versus ABC’s "Kimmel" in viewers 18-49 and total viewers, delivering bigger audiences than “Late Late Show” in every key ratings category: adults, men and women 18-34, 18-49 and 25-54, plus total viewers.


At 1:35 a.m. ET, NBC’s “Last Call with Carson Daly” delivered its largest 18-49 audience (422,000) in five weeks, since the week of April 2-6, and its biggest overall audience (964,000) in four weeks, since the week of April 9-13.


Through the first 34 weeks of the season, "Tonight" has increased its total-viewer margin over "Late Show" to 15 percent (3.710 million vs. 3.218 million), up from the year-ago season-to-date advantage of 9 percent. Jimmy Fallon has also established a total-viewer lead over "Late Late Show" this season of 15 percent (1.764 million vs. 1.531 million), up from last year's advantage of 0.5 percent. Jimmy has also increased his season-to-date lead over "Late Late Show" in adults 18-34, to 41 percent (276,000 vs. 196,000) up from last year's 23 percent, and in adults 25-54, to 11 percent (864,000 vs. 778,000) up from 2 percent at this point last season.


"Tonight" delivered a bigger 18-49 audience than "Late Show" for the 18th time in 21 weeks while Jimmy Fallon attracted a bigger 18-49 audience than "Late Late Show" for a 24th week in a row.




(According to in-home viewing figures from Nielsen Media Research for the week of May 7-11. 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," 0.6/3*



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," 3.4 million viewers



CBS "Late Show," 3.0 million viewers


11:35 p.m.-12 midnight ET


ABC "Nightline," 3.8 million viewers



12 midnight-1 a.m. ET


ABC "Kimmel," 1.9 million viewers*



12:35-1:35 a.m. ET



NBC "Late Night," 1.6 million viewers



CBS "Late Late Show," 1.4 million viewers



1:35-2:05 a.m. ET



NBC "Last Call," 1.0 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," 0.6


TBS, 11 p.m.-midnight, "Conan," 0.4



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


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



Each adult 18-49 rating point equals 1.28 million viewers








Comedy Central, 11-11:30 p.m. "The Daily Show," 1.6 million


Comedy Central, 11:30 p.m.-midnight ET, "The Colbert Report," 1.2 million


TBS, 11 p.m.-midnight, "Conan," 0.8 million



Adult Swim, 11:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m. ET, 2.1 million


Adult Swim, 12:30-1:30 a.m. ET, 1.4 million






  • Diana Santiago

    That would be ironic, considering Arsenio Hall is George Lopez BFF.

  • Brad

    Oh yeah. Lopez was on his show more than any other comedian. This really isn’t official, but here’s a quick TMZ-like story saying NBC and FOX are interested in an Arsenio Hall talk show. I completely understand FOX’s reason as they have no late night show, not a daily like their competing networks, and no more Saturday nights like they had with Talkshow with Spike Feresteen and The Wanda Sykes Show. Tons of possibilities for Mr. Hall at FOX.

    I am shocked NBC is interested. I understand this is unofficial, but what would NBC do? Create another 10pm nightly variety show? Have it on at 8pm show like The Kilborn Files? Put him on in the morning like The David Letterman Show? If it isn’t in the late night hours, it will most likely fail. NBC is already jammed pack with Late Night shows. They shouldn’t even be considering unless they want him for a Sunday night, which from my understand, is an undesirable day.

  • Brad

    Oh wow! Just got more info. FOX is interested in having Arsenio for a weekly Saturday night talk show to compete against Saturday Night Live. (I knew it!) Not sure how well it would do though because Saturday Night Live crushes anything in the time slot. My best bet is that it would only work out if Arsenio 1.) takes advantage of the fact SNL is not on every week, 2.) gets a head start by going on at 11pm.

    What is also interesting is that TBS is interested in having Arsenio Hall to go on after Conan. Wait, wait, wait. Lopez, the only true successor to Hall’s show, bringing that party-like style back to late night and prompting minorities, is going to be replaced by Arsenio Hall? Wow! Talk about full circle there. Anyways, one major issue, isn’t Robert Morton bring in a political talk show for the midnight time slot on TBS? Furthermore, “there’s even been talks about a show that could air in the morning, then replay at night.” I could see Arsenio doing a show similar to, and possibly competing with, The Ellen Degeneres Show, but she is in the afternoons, not the mornings.

    Anyways, this is really quite interesting, but like the articles says… “But much like Rome, Arsenio’s comeback won’t be built overnight. Regardless of which network he decides to use as his late-night vehicle, the earliest a new show would debut is the fall.”

  • Gary Middleton

    “I could see Arsenio doing a show similar to, and possibly competing with, The Ellen Degeneres Show.”

    That is exactly what I’d do with Arsenio. I’ve never found him too compelling when he’s trying to be funny, but when he’s not trying to be funny he’s riveting. A daytime show like that would let him do a better mix of both. But it seems to me like his heart is set on late night.

    Arsenio on TBS, at this stage of their rebranding, is just a strange idea.

    TBS also says it’s developing a late night show with Norm Macdonald. Another strange idea given how Norm has pretty much proven every way imaginable that he can’t draw a crowd to movies or TV.

  • Charles

    You mention the new Carson set…it’s a great one, although some of the edits are sloppily done. One thing really strikes you…that Johnny Carson’s show featured real conversations.

    One thing drives me nuts about Jay Leno…his annoying use of cue cards. He will frequently deliver a whole monologue without looking at the audience much…just looking at the cards. So obvious. During the celebrity introductions he doesn’t look at the camera…just the cue cards or his note cards. He’d be nothing without cue cards.

    Letterman can be just as bad, although he makes sport of the use of cue. Letterman is capable of having real conversations, but they’re usually empty.

  • Gary Middleton

    For Colbert fans, an explanation of when he decides to let an out-of-character moment stay in the show:

    DB: One of the things that fans absolutely love is when you get tickled, the character breaks. I’ve heard from people who are at live shows saying that you’ve redone stuff. Sometimes they get cut, and sometimes they don’t – how do you make that decision, like “We’re going with it”? Like one time, you had nicotine in your lip, you couldn’t even talk.

    SC: The nicotine had literally made my upper lip just slightly tingly, and I was having trouble talking. It all depends. If it gets in the way of the progression of an argument, then I’ll cut it. But if it’s just the end of a series of jokes, or if I’m just in a series of doing what I would think of as one-off jokes, that really don’t need the cohesiveness of an argument, like every one’s sort of a setup and a punch line kind of joke, even though they may all be on the same subject – like all on the same subject of a certain medical device or something – that’s fine. But if I’m in the middle of an argument, like ‘The Word’, or if I’m in the middle of an argument trying to convince you of something, like this person is an Alpha Dog, or something like that – because a lot of the show is based on argumentativeness – if I’m in the middle of an argument, or if I’m in the middle of praise, it actually has to have some sort of essay-like cohesiveness to it, I will cut that out every time. Because you’ve got to stick in character. You can’t get out of character, because the character’s the one making the argument, and if you drop character in that, if you fully drop character in that, then you also drop the argument. If you know what I mean. I am the argument, if I drop character, everything falls apart.

    I also just try to keep in character, but there’s just some times when – it happened tonight, on the show. There was a joke added at the last minute that I hadn’t read in rehearsal. It was about Aaron Schock, the congressman on the cover of Men’s Health, showing his six pack abs. It’s all part of this program called Fit For Life Summer, where he’s encouraging people to get fit for life – until September. And then we can all return to being alfredo-based life forms. And the idea of alfredo-based life forms, that we’re just made of alfredo cream sauce just tickled me. I just love the word alfredo, it was funny to me. And I lost it. But we kept it, there was no argument there. I would rather never break.

    DB: Well, we’re glad you leave them in.

    SC: Also, we can’t do that much editing of the show, because we’ve got to get it out of the building. We can’t be too precious. As long as it doesn’t hurt the show, we just let it go.

  • Gary Middleton

    As soon as the headline “American Idol Finale Breaks Social TV Records” appeared to the right, you knew it suffered an epic ratings plunge.

  • Brad

    I still can’t believe Norm MacDonald is still around. It must be nice to have friends like Conan at TBS, Stewart at Comedy Central, and Kimmel/Carolla at Jackhole Production to get you these recent deals.

    As for Arsenio. I think a daytime talk show make the most sense if he wants to do it daily. That could even work on TBS to get people to tune in longer than just for their primetime line up. If he wants a weekly, I think any broadcasting network would be willing to sign him up. I am still curious if a premium channel like SHO would want to sign him. If I worked at SHO, I would, because one of the reasons HBO likes having Real Time with Bill Maher is that it is a weekly show. It keeps people interested in their channel when their other shows like Curb Your Enthusiasm and Boardwalk Empire are not in season. That would be me who falls into that category.

    There are pros and cons about this whole thing is that Arsenio Hall is, well, a minority and will attract more people of colour rather than whites. A white demographic is worth more to advertisers, mainly because they are more able to purchase goods the advertisers are pushing them because whites on average make more than Latinos or African-Americans. This is ONE of the reasons why TBS said that they were making more money with Conan rather than Lopez when they both had the same ratings in a year to year analysis. It is a sad fact and this will harm Arsenio to some degree. However, because everyone else in late night is caucasian, he could beat them all with his mixed audience and carve himself a nice niche in late night or wherever he’s placed.

  • Gary Middleton

    Interesting thing, Brad. When Arsenio ruled in the early 90s, diversity helped but his biggest edge was youth. I assume he can’t trade on that this time around.

    Maybe it’ll matter how many of his fans from those days haven’t hit age 50 yet. Must be quite a few. And people aged 40 to 49 still watch a fair amount of TV.

  • Gary Middleton

    Brad, they’re just pilots at this stage. Networks order more of them than they plan to air. Also possible that TBS has room for more than one show like that. Maybe one is nightly and one is weekly. Maybe they’re two half hour shows that could run back to back. Endless possibilities.

  • Brad

    Sorry. I misunderstood. I thought “ordered pilot” meant it made the cut, not that they want to see a demo. I am shocked how much the media covers now. How well they do it is another thing.

  • GARebelman

    Norm Macdonald good grief. People watch him seriously? These niche comedians notice how long they don’t last on TV except super small audiences on cable.

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