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

    I do think we cannot talk about Dave Letterman without talking about three specific things:

    1. September 11, 2001

    2. His heart bypass

    3. The birth of his son.

    New York was always such a target of his comedy…much of that ended after September 11. Sure, he makes fun of the mayor and the pothole, but that special New York humor, and finding humor in New York, helped make the show so unique, as opposed to almost humorless LA.

    After the bypass (not the one that gave Leno The Tonight Show), and he went gray and got so thin, the remotes and out of studio pieces started to disappear. He so rarely leaves the confines of the Ed now. Some have said that he decided it was time to let the younger kids do the goofy stuff.

    And he became somewhat different after Harry was born. Sure, he can still own a stupid celebrity, like Joaquin Phoenix or Paris Hilton, but too much of the time he drools over the celebs and their projects, instead of deconstructing them. That’s why I enjoyed the Batman thing a few weeks ago…that was an old Dave type of thing.

  • Monikka

    Letterman also seems to have shifted from thinking of himself as a late night host to broadcaster. He has praised Keith Olbermann, Regis Philbin and Howard Stern as “broadcasters, the only ones who know what they are doing.” That’s not an exact quote but I’ve noticed it as a recurring theme in the last few years.

    A paradigm shift in how he sees himself would explain why he doesn’t do skits, go outside or into the studio audience, or even read letters anymore. My theory is that Letterman wants to be seen (and admired) as “broadcaster” and he thinks broadcasters don’t do such things.

  • GARebelman

    The big problem with that today Monikka is his fans don’t really see him as that. They see him as the guy they loved doing Late Night with David Letterman and even the early years of the Late Show not some guy who does no comedic bits at all. That’s one reason his audience has fled the coup. Despite CBS being a strong network, Letterman (all things considered) is still doing bad compared to Jay and Nightline.

  • Monikka

    What the fans think and what the CBS powers-that-be think don’t seem to matter to Letterman. All the evidence available to us shows he’s untouchable, for better or worse. I’d love to witness the CBS staff meetings in which they discuss late night ratings.

  • Chris

    I would, too…but there is only one number that probably matters to the suits…$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$.

    Supposedly his show still is a cash cow for the network. His show has been called more desirable to advertise on despite the lower numbers.

  • Brad

    People buy things out of emotion. It’s why so many people go to McDonald’s or buy Coca Cola. We all know it is bad for you, but we think happy thoughts with all the commercials pushed on us about the happy clown and the happy polar bears. What I am trying to say is that advertisers buy Letterman because they remember the old Letterman, the one they grew up with. It sounds good to say to your shareholders, it sounds good to your boss, it sounds good to everybody. If Letterman’s advertisers start realizing just how little they are receiving for the dollar with the Late Show, they’ll start pulling and CBS will not be pleased.

  • Chris

    In case anybody is interested…top money makers in TV…

  • Diana Santiago

    I guess we are not going to get a press release for last week late night ratings, since NBC is pre-empting their late night shows.

  • Elie Muller

    Did you hear the big news about late night tv yet? CBS is getting Kristen Bell to host a 1:30AM show called “The Late Late Late Show With Kristen Bell” this upcoming tv season, and they’re producing it with David Letterman’s WorldWide Pants company and Craig Ferguson’s Green Mountain West Production company. Which means that Carson Daly will finally have some real competition at 1:30AM every morning. CBS is going to make that known when Craig Ferguson is in the new studio. If you don’t believe me, then email Craig Ferguson, and he’ll tell you on the air.

  • Eroll Muller

    I’ve gotten some real good news for all of you Craig Ferguson fans. Do you remember when Craig Ferguson complained about not having a house band on his late night talk show? Guess what?! He’s finally going to have a house band on his show when he goes to the new studio in a few weeks. That’s right! He’s going to have a 4 or 5 piece rock band as his house band for “The Late Late Show”, and he’ll have Craig Kilborn and David Letterman on as two of his first guests in the new studio. You can email Craig Ferguson’s show all you want about this, but he can tell you the same thing.

  • Mario

    Chris, if Letterman is making CBS money with those horrible ratings then Leno is making a mint for NBC!

  • Chris

    Big difference, Super Mario…

    CBS pays Letterman a licensing fee for Late Show, out of which comes Dave’s salary, all staff salaries and benefits, and the budget for the show. As Dave has mentioned, I wouldn’t necessarily believe that Letterman actually makes what they say he does. We do know he’s taken a cut the last couple of times.

    NBC foots the bill for all of Leno’s show. Haven’t read for a while, but supposedly Leno’s show has a higher production cost, and Leno himself got a hefty raise during the last contract negotiation.

    NBC and Leno claimed the net lost money on Conan’s show. Jay makes much, much more than Conan did, production budget is higher (though I wish they would spend more on decent writers), and Jay’s numbers are lower than Conan’s were in the demo. I’d be surprised if the show was making half of Letterman’s in profits.

  • Danny

    NBC pre-empted at 11:30 is a beautiful thing.

  • Mario

    Chris, Leno’s numbers are much higher in ALL age groups pre – Zucker! That’s why Conan got canned!

    If Conan had higher numbers than Leno pre – Zucker then there’s no way Conan would’ve been fired. Read the NYT article on this plus there was a lot of buzz that for the first time in 15 years Letterman actually beat Tonight because Conan stunk so bad!

  • Brad

    Muelller, how can we believe you. I want to but who’s saying this is true.

    I’m with you Mario. If Letterman is making money, so should Leno. Of course, if you put in Conan’s payout onto the cost of keeping Leno at Tonight, I can see NBC looking at Leno as a money loser (though it couldn’t be by much).

  • Danny

    Nope…Leno’s numbers in the demo are lower than Conan had while at Tonight, although his total viewership is higher. (Though he has lost 25% of that in 2.5 years.)

  • Mario

    WRONG Danny! The NYT article cleary stated Leno’s Tonight pre 2009 Zucker mess beat Conan’s TS in EVERY age group!

    I even remember seeing on Fox News and CNN how it was big news Letterman was beating Conan’s Tonight since Letterman hadn’t done that in almost 15 years with Leno as host!

  • Danny

    I just reread what you wrote…you’re missing the point. Jay’s numbers post debacle are lower than Conan’s. Yes, Conan’s numbers sank from Leno’s pre-2009, but after Leno returned his numbers collapsed.

  • Chris

    Correct. It was big news in the summer of 2010 that Leno’s Tonight Show was at historic lows…in the demo lower than Conan’s. Many of Leno’s fans never came back.

    From Labor Day 2010…even lower now. Rare for Leno to hit a 1.0.

  • Chris

    And don’t forget the only reason they kept Jay was that it was cheaper to send Conan packing. Conan left with over a third less than what they would have had to pay Leno off…said to have been 150 million.

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