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


  • Chris

    Interesting analysis.

    The one thing I disagree with…Leno knows exactly what he was and is doing. He just can’t and won’t accept the idea of anybody else hosting the show.

    He knows he sold out. And what a shame…he was one of the greatest standups of all time.

  • Brad

    Love your comment Mark but I respectfully disagree about what Fallon would have to do to be successful. People love Carson and as Leno said it “I’m no Johnny Carson”. He changed his style when he became the host and changed it some more to find his audience. Well, all it took was time. Fallon can make it being more sophsticated, he just has to know it will take some time. Just like it took time for Leno. The thing is Leno’s numbers are so low, I think Jimmy at his worst can do better. Conan got 0.9 at tonight and Fallon is much more commercial than Conan. His humour is more for a general audience. Conan is more cult meaning Conan will always have an audience, just never a big one. Fallon just needs time and if he’s learned anything from the 2010 debacle, he will make sure he gets it.

  • Chris

    I absolutely agree, Brad…the problem might be the network suits. They are just not willing to give much time anymore to a struggling series or performer. Conan and Ann Curry are examples. Heck, networks now cancel after one or two episodes. The Leno of 1993 would never make it today. (He almost didn’t make it then, as they made that awful offer to Dave.)

    If, in theory, Fallon got the job, how long would they give him? One thing’s for sure…Fallon or whoever will eyeball the contract better!

    Now I’ve always held a different take on the Conan thing…I still think the only reason it happened as it happened was Jay’s contract. If he hadn’t that contract, Conan would still be at 11:30 and Jay would be retired with his cars. Who knows.

  • Mario

    Are you people this stupid? Leno is the king, the highest rated late night host in history, and NBC’s biggest star. He’ll be there as long as he wants.

  • Chris

    Of course, the other risk is that once they give Leno his walking papers they pick somebody who, like Jay, has little respect for the heritage and tradition for the Tonight Show.

    And networks rarely show respect for tradition anyway, rather favoring the newest and latest trends.

    A perfect host would be able to respect both the audience and the history of the show. Conan came pretty dang close most of the time. He absolutely nailed it his last week on the show.

  • Aaron

    Chris, I agree. Conan, last week, was some of the best television he’s ever done. Chaz the Chick Fil A chicken and the slow-mo camera were some of the best moments I’ve ever seen on the TBS program.

  • kscottk11

    If you’re just logging onto this site for the first time, you would think Leno is on his “Late Night Death Bed.”

    How accurately does this site’s small viewer “sample-size” represent all of the late night viewing public’s habits and preferences?

    Earlier posted on this site by anonymous:

    “What Leno understood best that his opponents didn’t was Johnny Carson’s advice that to be successful in late night, you have to win the heartland. You have to be mild and comfortable and inoffensive either by choice or by nature.”

    I think that still is a fair statement.

    Bill Maher said on Larry King Live in Feb. 2010 “For whatever reason Jay Leno has the pulse of Main Stream America like nobody else.” Of course, he was referring to Leno before being fired in June 2009. As “beaten-up and tired” as Leno is, I still think he has more long-term main-stream appeal than the other late-night network hosts.

    Generally, Leno figured out at the 11:30 hour, people don’t want to be beaten over head by abrasive humor or one-sided political rants before they go to sleep. People generally don’t want to go to sleep annoyed.

    Did Leno purposely dumb down his humor? Who knows! I think Leno figured out that light humor would play best over the long-haul for the biggest wide-ranging 11:30 Tonight Show audience.

  • Brad

    That is one of my favorite videos on the Tonight Show debacle! I must say it isnt hard for your audience to appreciate your dull jokes when they have always been dull. When Letterman wasn’t sharp anymore with his jokes, people left. Everyone knows what to expect out of Leno. Maher’s right, Leno is “beaten-up and tired” but he is still Mr. Reliable no matter how you want to look at it.

    I do think his time is up simply because he doesn’t appeal to the youth. Hard to make a 60 year old adored by 18-29 year olds. (Yet Ferguson, Conan, Colbert, and Stewart are about 50)

  • Brad

    This is why I’m not sure Ferguson is a great idea. He is old. He just turned 50. What does he have, 5-7 good years left in him? 10 at most? He has three kids now, he doesn’t have time for celebrity butt-kissing, formal practices, and crafting the best jokes of the day. I love the guy, but if I was CBS I wouldn’t be too keen on sending the Scot to take over Letterman’s post.

  • Chris

    kscott, in the name of openness, I will be the first to pop a bottle of champagne when they announce Leno’s departure, but the bigger picture is many of us are just shocked at the amount of erosion in network late night television.

    One poster here this year predicted Leno would dip to 3 million viewers this summer. That Gary Middleton ridiculed him off of the boards. Turns out that while Leno doesn’t seem to have hit that number, he came dang close. I never thought I would see Leno and Letterman dip below a million viewers in the demos, but they have, repeatedly. I just don’t think the networks are going to let this happen much longer, so we’re speculating on what changes are coming on the late night landscape soon. And few of us imagine Leno and Letterman being part of that landscape two years from now.

  • Diana Santiago

    “For whatever reason Jay Leno has the pulse of Main Stream America like nobody else.” = the best symptom that America is dying.

  • Monikka

    “…America is dying.”

    Thank you for that keen political analysis based on the dwindling appeal of a late night host.

    Could it be simply that tastes have changed since the days of Johnny Carson and the ascent of Leno to the Tonight throne? Mainstream America likes more cutting-edge and raunchier humor. Certainly, our taste in movie humor has changed. I think they’re execrable but people can’t seem to get enough of The Hangover movies.

    Maybe all Jay needs to do is re-embrace his former edgier style and throw out Johnny Carson’s outdated philosophy. BTW, if NBC does want to stay with “mild and comfortable and inoffensive either by choice or by nature” then the bland Fallon is their guy.

  • Danny

    No, Monikka…you must not have watched Carson much. Yeah, he did some corny comedy, but so much of the time his humor had an edge to it, and frequently a ferocious bite. And he had a marvelous ability to be naughty without being naughty because of censors.

    Jay rejected pretty much everything Johnny’s Tonight Show was and represented except for the desk and chairs. One of the reasons there was no love lost between him and Jay. But it was Jay’s show. Yes, his numbers crashed in 1992 and 1993, and much of Carson’s audience eventually went to CBS and Dave and elsewhere, but Leno amazingly built another audience, which is pretty much gone now.

    Sure, part of his ratings erosion is his fault, especially his despicable part in the Conan deal, but America has just moved on in its viewing habits. Jay and Dave are just of another time.

  • Monikka


    You are correct, Sir. I didn’t see much of Carson and what I did see was on a sleepy walk to the bathroom past my parents’ TV.

    Can you link to some examples of Carson’s “ferocious bite?” The tribute shows and the videos I’ve seen were ferocious free.

  • Danny

    There’s no point, really, for the snark is palpable.

    Just go find the Carson DVDs or youtube.

  • Mark

    Well, Carson was just a faint memory to me, too, but I thoroughly enjoy the DVDs that his estate has released…especially the new one with complete episodes. It shows a performer who did have a razor sharp wit, a marvelous ability to ad lib, who performed in some fantastic sketches with fantastic characters. And I was surprised to see that his shows, especially the older ones, bordered on a surrealism and absurdity. He truly was the master…and I understand now how he influenced all in the business today.

    And, amazingly, he made it all look so easy. When I watch Letterman, it’s painful to see him struggle much of the time as if he didn’t want to be there. Leno works way too hard to sell his jokes.

  • Chris

    I was so glad to find this on youtube…I remember seeing this that night and laughing hysterically, and thinking that they were probably crapping bricks at NBC in Burbank. Two masters together.

  • Monikka

    Thanks for the clip. I’m sorry to say I didn’t think that was (a) ferocious (b) funny or (c) particularly well-acted. Carson struggled to stay in character, ala fatuous Fallon, and Ed’s laughter in the background was distracting.

    Carson was of his generation. My grandfather found Louis and Costello funny. Times change. Tastes change. We’ve moved on and the hosts of Late Night fashion themselves in Johnny Carson’s image at their peril and our disinterest.

  • Monikka

    Oops, my comment refers to Mark’s clip. Chris posted as I was replying.

  • Mark

    Thanks for proving my point.

© 2015 Tribune Digital Ventures