Late Night TV Ratings For The Week Of July 23-27, 2012

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

Written By

August 2nd, 2012

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


Via NBC's Press Release




UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. – August 2, 2012 – NBC’s “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” and “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” have delivered their biggest adult 18-49 audiences in more than five months to top the ABC and CBS time-period competition in viewers 18-49, total viewers and other key categories for  the week of July 23-27.

Friday’s telecasts of “Tonight” and “Late Night” were delayed by NBC’s coverage of the Opening Ceremony of the London Olympics, and that night’s telecast of “Tonight” averaged 2.150 million adults 18-49, Jay’s biggest 18-49 audience for any night of the week since Thursday, Sept. 9, 2010, the opening night of the 2010 NFL season.  In total viewers, Jay’s 5.351 million was “Tonight’s” biggest audience since Wednesday, March 3, 2010, during the week of Jay’s return as host of “Tonight.”  At 12:35 a.m. ET, Jimmy’s delayed Friday telecast averaged 1.175 million viewers 18-49, “Late Night’s” biggest 18-49 audience since Thursday, Sept. 8, 2011, the opening night of the 2011 NFL season, and Friday’s 2.617 million viewers overall was Jimmy’s biggest overall audience since Friday, Feb. 12, 2010, the opening night of the Vancouver Olympics.

Boosted by those strong Friday results, Jay averaged 1.214 million adults 18-49 for the week, his biggest weekly 18-49 audience in 24 weeks, since the week of February 6-10.  In total viewers, Jay’s 3.697 million viewers was “Tonight’s” biggest audience since the week of June 25-29.  At 12:35 a.m. ET, “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” averaged 710,000 adults 18-49, its biggest 18-49 audience in 23 weeks, since the week of February 13-17.  It was also Jimmy’s biggest overall viewership (1.742 million) since February 13-17.

For the week, “Tonight” topped the time-period competition of CBS's "Late Show with David Letterman" and ABC's combination of "Nightline" and "Jimmy Kimmel Live" in 18-49 and total viewers and delivered bigger audiences than “Late Show” in every key ratings category: adults, men and women 18-34, 18-49 and 25-54, plus total viewers.  At 12:35 a.m. ET, Jimmy Fallon also out-delivered CBS’s “Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson” in each of those categories.

Through the first 45 weeks of the 2011-12 broadcast year, "Tonight" has increased its total-viewer margin over "Late Show" to 20 percent (3.672 million vs. 3.069 million), up from the year-ago season-to-date advantage of 13 percent.  Jimmy Fallon has also established a total-viewer lead over "Late Late Show" this season of 20 percent (1.751 million vs. 1.463 million), up from last year's advantage of 5 percent.  Jimmy has also increased his season-to-date lead over "Late Late Show" in adults 18-34, to 48 percent (273,000 vs. 185,000) up from last year's 28 percent, and in adults 25-54, to 15 percent (846,000 vs. 737,000) up from 7 percent at this point last season.

"Tonight" delivered a bigger 18-49 audience than "Late Show" for the 28th time in 32 weeks while Jimmy Fallon attracted a bigger 18-49 audience than "Late Late Show" for a 35th week in a row. 



(According to in-home viewing figures from Nielsen Media Research for the week of July 23-27.  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,” 0.9 rating, 4 share*

CBS “Late Show,” 0.5/2*

11:35 p.m.-12 midnight ET

ABC “Nightline,” 0.8/3

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,” 0.3/2

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

NBC “Last Call,” 0.3/2 (in encore telecasts)*


11:35 p.m.-12:35 a.m. ET

NBC “Tonight,” 3.7 million viewers*

CBS “Late Show,” 2.2 million viewers*

11:35 p.m.-12 midnight ET

ABC “Nightline,” 3.4 million viewers

12 midnight-1 a.m. ET

ABC “Kimmel,” 1.6 million viewers* 

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

NBC “Late Night,” 1.7 million viewers*

CBS “Late Late Show,” 1.0 million viewers

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

NBC “Last Call,” 0.8 million viewers (in encore telecasts)*

* Friday’s “Tonight” and “Late Night” were delayed by NBC’s coverage of the Opening Ceremony of the London Olympics.  Friday’s “Last Call” was preempted and Friday’s “Late Show” and “Kimmel” were encores. 


ADULTS 18-49

11:35 p.m.-12:35 a.m. ET

NBC “Tonight,” 0.8 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,” 3.1 million viewers  

11:35 p.m.-12 midnight ET

ABC “Nightline,” 3.8 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,” 0.9 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

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,” 0.9 million

Adult Swim, 11:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m. ET, 2.3 million

Adult Swim, 12:30-1:30 a.m. ET, 1.3 million


  • Jim LaForte

    I love all of the political comments about how Dave is “left leaning” and all. It is entertainment folks! Sarah Palin is a joke in my opinion. A joke is a joke and if one is in the public eye than they are wide open to be poked fun of. I do not see any “attacks” but rather one person’s (comedian’s) opinion (which is shared by many people in the audience). Please come up with a better reply versus “partisan politics.” Late Night cannot really be compared to the Sunday morning talk shows.

    The ratings are indicative of two things: The hosts growing older and the decline or erosion of viewership to the main television networks. There are more choices now and I agree, the “appointment” viewing is just not there anymore with DVR’s and all.

  • Jim LaForte

    From what I understand, Arsenio put a serious dent in to Johnny’s demos but did not have the bigger audience. As far as I know Arsenio never beat Jay Leno in total viewers or the demo either.

  • Chris

    Jim’s right…a dent is probably the best way to put it. Arsenio really wasn’t much more of a threat to Johnny Carson than the others. Pat Sajak started with much higher numbers. The younger viewers started to gravitate to Arsenio, but it just didn’t last that long. For some reason viewers got tired of Arsenio in a relatively short period of time.

    Jim, while I see your point and agree, in this ultra-polarized world we’re in many have no patience when somebody like Dave knocks somebody you like, like Governor Palin. Letterman’s taken shots at Obama too…I think he was the first to joke about him being a one termer, but the perception is that he’s in the DNC bag.

  • Brad

    I have no doubt that Letterman is for the DNC. However, not 100%. He had Republican presidential candidates on his show, he is good friends with John McCain, and, like Chris said, Letterman still makes jokes about Democrats here and there like on Pres. Obama or Anthony Weiner.

  • Chris

    From the CNN transcript of Letterman and Regis on CNN a few weeks back:

    PHILBIN: — that if one portion of your audience is a Republican or Democrat, they don’t like what you’re saying, they’re going to tune you out. Doesn’t bother you.

    LETTERMAN: Well, you — I know what your point is, and I’ve been guilty of appearing to be playing partisan politics. However, I’d like to say for the record, I am a registered independent. You go where the material takes you.

    Poor Bill Clinton, no president that I’m aware of got hammered harder than Bill — President Bill Clinton over the Monica Lewinsky situation. We beat up on him. We still use him as a reference. And then we were desperate. We thought, well, this was so easy. Then we got George Bush.

    And within a matter of days, we realized our prayers had been answered. He’s just as good in terms of material. So we — it may appear to people that we have a slant one way or the other, but you — if a guy, you know, drops his dog or a guy straps his dog to the roof of his car, or if a guy gets a shoe thrown at him, well, this is where the material is going to be.

  • Gorky

    Jay Leno consistently is #1 to the chagrin of all his haters including Howard Stern.

  • Danny

    Yeah, but if I have seven marbles, another 5 and another 4, does it really matter, or is it impressive that I have the most marbles with 7?

    Don’t forget, on paper, Leno and Letterman are beaten by Nightline, despite the questionable counting, so Jay can’t say he’s #1 of anything.

  • Brad

    So what does everyone think will happen to Leno after he is forced by NBC into late night retirement? Will he get a weekly somewhere (which isn’t as popular as it once was back in the 60s)? Will he just spend more time with Jay Leno’s Garage? Will JLG get picked up as a show somewhere? History Channel or even primetime NBC? I just can’t see him retiring and I don’t think he can either.

  • Mario

    Danny, Leno still has better numbers than any other late night host!

    That is huge in negotiating a new contract!

  • Danny

    Not when they’re numbers like what he’s posting, and down almost thirty percent in two years, and, as many believe, the show is not raking in money…

    He’s toast. NBC’s support of Leno is nonresistant, if you haven’t noticed.

  • Chris

    And don’t forget that the management team that supported Leno and engineered his return to 11:30 is gone.

  • Brad

    If Leno was going to stay at NBC long after 2014, he would’ve been resigned in 2012 like Ferguson, Letterman, Colbert, Stewart, and O’Brien. He is on his way out and, if it happens, any new contract he signs will confirm it. He will only get 2 more years at most if he’s lucky, but most likely it will be one year contract and will make the Fallon transition public. Again, Leno would have to be very lucky in getting another contract with NBC in hosting the Tonight show.

  • Brad

    I know we all want Ferguson and Fallon to move up in late night, but who takes over their spots? I would like Seth Meyers after Fallon’s Tonight but I can see the duo being too similar to have back to back… or is that a good thing? I can see Ferguson produce a show with one of his buddies at the helm. Chelsea Handler, Drew Carey, Kristen Bell, etc. But the first two already have great hosting jobs and I can’t see Bell as a talk show host. Too sassy and cold for that.

  • Mario

    Brad, Fallon would be a disaster for Tonight! His ratings aren’t nearly as high as Jay’s and he doesn’t have the long track record of success that Leno has!

  • Brad

    Well if Ferguson is placed at CBS, Fallon can match if not beat Ferguson. We already have their 12:35 records. Fallon is a clear winner.

  • Jim Laforte

    Hmmmm. I am going to throw a curve ball. What IF NBC resigns Leno to host the “Tonight Show?” What it would appear to be now is who will last longer before they retire. Dave stays on longer than Jay and finishes the undisputed champion, or Jay out distances Dave by another year or two. The only numbers that “really” matter are the demo numbers. The other hosts have smaller audience numbers but for the size of their audience they are delivering respectable demos. Jay no longer cracks a 1.0 with nearly 4.0 million viewers. His audience is outside of the demo range that is important. Jimmy Kimmel has less than 2.0 million viewers and consistently delivers a 0.5 to 0.6, so whose audience is more appealing to advertisers?

  • bonnie blue

    Diana, please get real at least once in awhile??? Jay’s the king, and he will continue to be, although TV watching is down in general the last couple of years, and his numbers are, as well. BUT he still leads the pack … Way to go, Jay!

  • bonnie blue

    I love Jimmy Fallon, but don’t feel that he will pull as well as Jay’s numbers at 11:30. He’s still not Jay … :-)

  • Diana Santiago

    Please remember to not feed the trolls or let them get wet… or they’ll reproduce!

  • Mark

    Here’s the big problem, and challenge to whoever is tapped to do NBC at 11:30.

    When Jay Leno was tapped to host the show, he willfully made the choice to stop being Jay Leno and become somebody completely else, offering s style of comedy that made “why did the chicken cross the road” seem challenging. Even long time Leno fans were stunned at the choice that he made. Many have expressed that disappointment here.

    At first his numbers tanked. To Mario and Bonnie…his numbers tanked more than Conan’s did when Conan assumed the show. But Jay made an amazing comeback. How? By dumbing down his show even more. So he took the show to #1 by making it the place for unintelligent comedy and fawning celebrity ass kissing.

    Along the way he managed to build a reputation of being a hard working guy, and of being the nicest guy in show business.

    Then came the Conan deal. One can understand Leno being upset, but he, as he admitted, lied to the audience about his feelings. Understandable. But Leno had made the decision then and there to somehow torpedo Conan. It eventually played its way out as getting a weeknight show at 10PM. I don’t buy that Leno put on a bad show at 10PM on purpose…it was the same, bland show he did at 11:30, without a desk.

    Meanwhile Conan was trying some amazing stuff at Tonight, but was rejected by Leno’s audience, who just didn’t want comedy they had to think about and that had some type of sophistication. Conan didn’t fail at 11:30 because of Conan…he failed because of the 11:30 audience that was used to a certain comedy for 17 years. And we learned that Mr. nice guy wasn’t so.

    And the next host will struggle, too. Fallon and his writers do some neat things…but it will not play to NBC’s 11:30 audience either because it, too, or what’s left of it, is not interested in cerebral comedy. The next host will have to be as bland or will have to dumb their act down too. Leno was willing to risk his reputation, and sell his soul. Will Fallon?

    Jay Leno has no idea how he has damaged late night television.

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