Late Night TV Ratings For The Week Of August 26-31, 2012

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

Written By

September 7th, 2012

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


Via NBC's Press Release








UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. – September 7, 2012 – NBC’s “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” and “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” have out-delivered the ABC and CBS time-period competition for the week of August 27-31 in viewers 18-49 and total viewers, during a disrupted week that saw Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday NBC and CBS telecasts excluded due to overrun coverage of the Republican National Convention.


“Tonight” generated bigger audiences than CBS’s “Late Show with David Letterman” and ABC’s combination of “Nightline” and “Jimmy Kimmel Live” head to head for the hour in adults 18-34, 18-49 and 25-54, plus total viewers and Jay topped “Late Show” during the disrupted week in every key ratings category: adults, men and women 18-34, 18-49 and 25-54, plus total viewers. Note that Friday’s “Late Show” was an encore.


At 12:35 a.m. ET, Jimmy Fallon also prevailed in every key category versus CBS’s “Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson” during the disrupted week.


Through the first 50 weeks of the 2011-12 broadcast year, "Tonight" has increased its total-viewer margin over "Late Show" to 23 percent (3.663 million vs. 2.989 million), up from the year-ago season-to-date advantage of 14 percent, while stretching its 25-54 advantage to 11 percent (1.400 million vs. 1.263 million) from last year’s 8 percent and its 18-34 lead to 25 percent (345,000 vs. 276,000) from last year’s 23 percent.


Jimmy Fallon has established a total-viewer lead over "Late Late Show" this season of 22 percent (1.747 million vs. 1.436 million), up from last year's advantage of 6 percent. Jimmy has also increased his season-to-date lead over "Late Late Show" in adults 18-49 to 24 percent (703,000 vs. 569,000), up from last year’s 21 percent; in adults 18-34 to 53 percent (273,000 vs. 178,000), up from last year's 30 percent; and in adults 25-54 to 17 percent (841,000 vs. 719,000), up from 8 percent at this point last season.


"Tonight" delivered a bigger 18-49 audience than "Late Show" for the 31si time in their last 35 head-to-head weeks (excludes weeks of Olympic preemptions) and 13th week in a row, while Jimmy Fallon has attracted a bigger 18-49 audience than "Late Late Show" for each of their last 38 head-to-head weeks.





(According to in-home viewing figures from Nielsen Media Research for the week of August 27-31. 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,” 0.7 rating, 3 share*


CBS “Late Show,” 0.6/2*


11:35 p.m.-12 midnight ET


ABC “Nightline,” 0.7/3


12 midnight-1 a.m. ET


ABC “Kimmel,” 0.4/2 (in encore telecast)*


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


NBC “Late Night,” 0.4/2*


CBS “Late Late Show,” 0.3/2*


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


NBC “Last Call,” 0.2/2 (in encore telecasts)*







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


NBC “Tonight,” 3.3 million viewers*


CBS “Late Show,” 2.2 million viewers*


11:35 p.m.-12 midnight ET


ABC “Nightline,” 2.9 million viewers


12 midnight-1 a.m. ET


ABC “Kimmel,” 1.3 million viewers (in encore telecasts)*


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


NBC “Late Night,” 1.5 million viewers*


CBS “Late Late Show,” 1.1 million viewers*


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


NBC “Last Call,” 0.7 million viewers (in encore telecasts)*



* Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday telecasts on NBC and CBS were delayed by convention coverage and are excluded, and Friday’s “Kimmel” is also excluded. Friday’s “Late Show” was an encore.







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,” 0.5/3


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,” 3.7 million viewers


CBS “Late Show,” 3.0 million viewers


11:35 p.m.-12 midnight ET


ABC “Nightline,” 3.7 million viewers


12 midnight-1 a.m. ET


ABC “Kimmel,” 1.7 million viewers


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


NBC “Late Night,” 1.7 million viewers


CBS “Late Late Show,” 1.4 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,” 0.6**


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 1.27 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,” 1.3 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


** Monday’s “Daily Show” and “Colbert Report” were preempted and last week’s special Friday telecasts are excluded.










  • Chris

    That would imply that NBC feels a loyalty to its on air talent.

    As soon as they can get their ducks in a row and make the transition to Fallon, or whoever, they will.

    The above comment is right…it’s probably not a coincidence that the renewal was set where it is…a premiere season.

  • Mario

    Fallon has been getting .5s and. 6s in the ratings with millions fewer viewers than Leno. He is not ready in any shape or form.

    I see Leno working till he’s at least 65 or even longer. It’s not like Leno will hit the golf course at 65. That means he’ll be at Tonight till at least 2015.

  • Pete

    Fallon’s ratings are consistent with his timeslot and he currently beats both Kimmel and Ferguson. I think NBC needs to make the transition sooner than later. Fallon is ready and is more attractive to all demographics than Conan. I don’t think NBC should let Kimmel establish his 11:30 timeslot without competition from their youngest gun.

  • Mario

    Leno will destroy Kimmel so NBC has nothing to worry about.

    Kimmel greatly depends on that excellent Nightline lead in and that will be gone in Jan.!

  • Chris

    Pete…your post is exactly right.

    Imagine you’re a 21 year old, looking for something to watch at 11:30. On broadcast, your choices are (as of early next year) Letterman, Leno, and Kimmel. Odds are 95% they’re going to tune into Kimmel unless there is somebody they like on the other two. Letterman no longer attracts the young viewers like he used to. Absolutely nothing to offer younger viewers on Leno unless they need a cure for insomnia.

    Odds are, though, that 21 year old is going to surf to cable, and land on Conan or Comedy Central.

    Leno’s not destroying anybody in the ratings now…doubtful he’ll do any damage to Kimmel. If anything, Leno’s demographic rating will sink once Kimmel moves. Think about it…cartoons on cable are beating Leno in the demographic.

  • Aaron

    I think Letterman attracts a slightly younger audience than Leno. He seems to be more popular online than Leno.

  • Chris

    I wondered that, Aaron.

    I think I understand why Dave evolved his show into the current show that it is. If I were a senior citizen I wouldn’t want to do it either.

    He’s among the smartest people on television…you would think he and his staff would be able to think of ways to be on their game with younger audiences…much like how Conan knocks it out of the park.

  • Danny

    A turned off computer is more popular online than Jay Leno. His online presence is weaker than his television show, if that is possible.

  • anonymous

    People can say anything they want without any sources. Would be nice to see actual current online viewing results but none is available. Closest thing out there is this outdated release for a week in November 2010.

    Rank Network Website Market Share Of U.S. Visits Previous Rank
    1 Comedy Central The Daily Show 25.37% 1
    2 TBS Conan 17.71% 3
    3 Comedy Central Cobert Report 10.30% 4
    4 NBC Late Night with Jimmy Fallon 9.77% 7
    5 NBC The Tonight Show with Jay Leno 7.36% 5
    6 ABC Jimmy Kimmel Live 6.27% 13
    7 TBS Lopez Tonight 4.82% 2
    8 CBS Late Show with David Letterman 4.77% 8
    9 ABC Nightline 4.42% 6

    Clearly Leno beats Letterman then. No idea what Conan’s results are now two years removed from his premiere.

  • Jared

    Diana, Where can I find Conan’s new online show? what is it called?

  • Mario

    Chris, if you think cartoons are beating Leno then those same cartoons are DESTROYING Conan and his HORRIBLE show!

    Go back to the posting of the Leno vs. Letterman vs. Kimmel news and a poll was taken as to who wins and Leno WON! Ask any insider in the TV industry and they’ll tell you Leno will beat them in the ratings!

  • Stella

    Ferguson is the best. End of story.

  • AL

    HELLO all you Leno talk of him like he is last in the ratings and everyone else is beating him…his numbers are can say that years ago his ratings were bigger…that was true for all late night shows..give it up he is still popular..conan sucks and letterman is a bitter old liberal and thats why his ratings suck..we will see about kimmell.i doubt kimmell will beat him at 11.30pm..maybe the first couple nights but then again..conan had 4 million his first couple of look at him..if you dont like leno dont watch..simple..

  • Brad

    I don’t think Conan’s online presence gets him anywhere that close to the network numbers. He did have a good thing with NBC because where they were losing to Letterman, Consn easily surpassed him online. NBC, being the old traditional broadcaster they are, didn’t even care about that when nagotiating the late night lineup in 2010. Now Conan had all the backing of his online presence. It rings very true now that he owns the show.

    As for NBC now, we will have to wait and see how Jimmy does against the big but old dinosaurs. If his astroid doesn’t make that much of an impact, you can expect Leno/Letterman sticking around maybe a little bit longer. If his astroid really shakes things up, change will be imminate.

  • Brad

    Also, don’t forget about Arsenio Hall. It’s not that he will beat any of them, but he can surely take away viewers from Leno and Letterman. If all the networks split late night evenly at 0.7 and then Hall comes in, he could deminish the big guys to 0.6. That would be down 33% from last the following year. That will be the sign of cancellation.

  • Danny

    Chris…thanks for pointing out that Adult Swim is beating Leno in the numbers…because Leno’s show is HORRIBLE! HORRIBLE! HORRIBLE!

    Wow…felt like Super Mario for a minute.

  • Chris

    Brad…I’m not sure what kind of impact Arsenio will have…he’s not scheduled for this market anyway…but it’s possible that between Kimmel and Arsenio, Leno and Letterman could see demo ratings down to .4 and .5.

    Heck…we could see a scenario when Conan on TBS is beating Leno and Letterman in the demo.

    This landscape is going to be changing quite a bit. ABC really shook the game up.

  • Brad

    Well Conan did beat Letterman a few days this summer. Like you said Chris, anything can happen. Everything will soon be fair game. My beat is still on Kimmel. His show has been crap lately but all of the late night shows have been.

  • Mario

    Danny and Chris, you guys just don’t get it! Leno has an established 20 year history and a loyal fan base! Bill Cater has said so himself! Leno’s ratings won’t change significantly with Kimmel and Arsenio.

    Arsenio is more likely to take from the few viewers Conan has!

  • Diana Santiago

    The only significant fact we have learned from the last posts is that people that like Leno can’t spell.

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