Late Night TV Ratings For The Week Of September 3-7, 2012

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

Written By

September 13th, 2012

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


Via NBC's Press Release



UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. – September 13, 2012 – NBC’s “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” and “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” have delivered their top-rated weeks of the television season in adults 18-49 and their biggest Wednesday ratings since early 2010, to win the late-night week of September 3-7.

During the disrupted week, Monday results were excluded due to the Labor Day holiday, NBC and CBS excluded multiple nights due to overrun coverage of the Democratic National Convention and NBC’s Wednesday results, which are included, were delayed by a high-rated NFL overrun. Also note that Friday’s “Late Show” and “Kimmel” were encores.

On Wednesday, with telecasts delayed by the overrun of that night’s primetime “NFL Kickoff” coverage on NBC, “Tonight” delivered a 1.4 rating in adults 18-49, the show’s highest for a Wednesday edition since March 3, 2010, and “Late Night” scored a 0.8, the show’s best for a Wednesday since January 20, 2010.

That keyed a weeklong 1.1 rating for “Tonight,” its highest weekly rating since January 31-February 4, 2011, and a 0.7 for “Late Night,” its strongest since the week of September 5-9, 2011.

Through the first 51 weeks of the 2011-12 broadcast year, "Tonight" has increased its total-viewer margin over "Late Show" to 23 percent (3.664 million vs. 2.987 million), up from the year-ago season-to-date advantage of 15 percent, while stretching its 25-54 advantage to 11 percent (1.402 million vs. 1.262 million) from last year’s 9 percent and its 18-34 lead to 26 percent (347,000 vs. 275,000) from last year’s 24 percent.

Jimmy Fallon has established a total-viewer lead over "Late Late Show" this season of 22 percent (1.750 million vs. 1.434 million), up from last year's advantage of 7 percent. Jimmy has also increased his season-to-date lead over "Late Late Show" in adults 18-49 to 24 percent (706,000 vs. 568,000), up from last year’s 22 percent; in adults 18-34 to 54 percent (275,000 vs. 178,000), up from last year's 30 percent; and in adults 25-54 to 18 percent (844,000 vs. 718,000), up from 9 percent at this point last season.

"Tonight" delivered a bigger 18-49 audience than "Late Show" for the 32nd time in their last 36 head-to-head weeks (excludes weeks of Olympic preemptions) and 14th week in a row, while Jimmy Fallon has attracted a bigger 18-49 audience than "Late Late Show" for each of their last 39 head-to-head weeks.


(According to in-home viewing figures from Nielsen Media Research for the week of September 3-7. 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,” 1.1 rating, 5 share*

CBS “Late Show,” 0.4/2*

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,” 0.7/4*

CBS “Late Late Show,” 0.3/1*

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

NBC “Last Call,” 0.4/3 (in encore telecasts)*


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

NBC “Tonight,” 3.6 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,” 1.4 million viewers (in encore telecasts)*

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

NBC “Late Night,” 1.9 million viewers*

CBS “Late Late Show,” 1.0 million viewers*

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

NBC “Last Call,” 1.1 million viewers (in encore telecasts)*

* Tuesday and Thursday NBC telecasts and Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday CBS programs were delayed by convention coverage and are excluded. Wednesday’s NBC telecasts were delayed by a high-rated NFL overrun but are included. 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,” 0.4/2

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,” 1.8 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,” 1.4 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, 2.0 million

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

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







  • Barry

    Sort of late night related…Regis got a new gig. Personally I think CNN should dump Piers Morgan and put Regis there.

  • Adam

    I don’t like to shill products, but Time Life just put out some DVD boxes of Carol Burnett’s show that should be required viewing for comedy. Most of it holds up.

    Would be nice if the networks junked un-reality shows and did good old variety shows.

    In a sense, Leno and Letterman’s shows are the sole survivors of a variety format, and they’re dying.

  • Brad

    I know what you mean Adam but why would you want to change success. Ellen owns her own show, makes a huge fortune, amd is celebrating her 10th year in syndication. If I was an executive I would be weary to put her in late night. Not that she wouldn’t do well critically, just that late night is known for male oriented shows and daytime is known for more female oriented shows.

  • Adam

    That’s true, but I see her as one of the few who can freshen up the genre a bit.

    American talk shows now are abysmal. They’re all about paternity tests, lie detectors, phony celebrities…even Dr. Phil has psychics on. Ellen’s show is consistently the only show that offers something fresh.

    You don’t get staler than late night television. Painful opening monologues, weak comedy, celebrity blather, etc. If I had the chance to advise Jimmy Kimmel, I would tell him to create a show that looks nothing like his 11:30 competitors. But we will have three shows, three painful monologues, painful sketches, celebrity blabber…it all needs a facelift.

  • Aaron

    I think Ellen DeGeneres would be great as the next host of Late Night. I think she’d offer new to the late night talk show scene and she also still has a good amount of youthful energy.

  • André

    I don’t see her doing a more toned down – less flashy – interview/comedy-based show. She’s a perfect fit for the kind of show she does, which isn’t quite a brilliant idea for late night.

  • Brad

    I think she could really do well in late night. She has this Tom-boyish attitude that appeals to boys. That’s important because Joan Rivers only failed because she sadly couldn’t appeal to males. I also think Ellen is a great monologue person. She has done classic stand up acts and opens her current show with a few topical jokes. She is also q great interviewer and has fun with them. I enjoyed her Taylor Swift, John Mayer, and Stece Carell interviews very much do. Ellen would do great with her own late show, the question is why would you leave one of the most successful show on television.

  • Monikka

    “the question is why would you leave one of the most successful show on television.”

    Indeed. Yet this is precisely what Jay Leno was asked to do.

    I think Ellen has enough sense to stay where she is successful.

    I never thought about Joan Rivers’s late night failure being due to to males not liking her. It’s hard to believe a ball-busting, loud-mouthed, sarcastic woman with a surgerized face wasn’t appealing to men. ;-) What’s the deal with Chelsea Handler then? I find Chelsea to be an embarrassment to women but I understand women are her core audience. Do men not like Chelsea either?

  • Adam

    Ellen’s monologue, opening remarks, whatever you want to call them, are frequently hilarious, and better than the late night guys, especially Leno’s painful and predictable jokes.

    I thoroughly enjoyed watching Letterman’s interview with President Obama last night. Some griped that the interview took multiple segments…I enjoyed that. I wonder if a show like Letterman would be better switching to these multiple (even entire episode) guest interviews. When they have two or three guests, the conversations tend to be superficial and phony. I think that’s one of the other reasons ratings are down on late night, it’s all superficial. Do you get more superficial than The Tonight Show?

    Younger viewers like me are seeking something deeper…thus why we like Ferguson or Stewart.

  • Brad

    Well it was reported that Joan Rivers was doing very well with the female demographic, very competitive to Carson, but she had very little in the male demographic. That was a big problem and that’s why they asked for her husband, the producer, to leave the show because they needed a new way to get males interested in their show. Of course she refused and was fired.

    Chelsea Handler does very well for a channel that is based on female demographics. All their shows like Keeping Up With The kardashians, Access Hollywood, and Chelsea Lately, everything but The Soup is catered specifically to women. The problem with Handler is she has always been in last place with her show. She might be currently tied with Bravo’s Watch What’s Happen but I’m not so sure.

    I watch Handler a few times every few moths. I like her show and I think guys get a kick out bad girl, rock star, partying ways. My problem with her show is that it is meant for girls. It is about the latest gossip in Hollywood and silly stories around the country. That isn’t what men are interested in hearing. We’d rather catch up on sports than keeping up with the Kardashians. If we want to hear gossip we’d go watch GoodFellas or The Sorpanos.

  • Brad

    I’m with you Adam. Last night show proves the legacy and genius that is Letterman. I loved his Clint Eastwood “empty chair” joke. Extremely clever and right off the cuff. He also did his jokes in a respectful manner. There was no Romney’s dog or Christ Christie clips. I thourghly enjoyed last nights episode and this is coming from a more Republican/Libertarian person.

    I also agree Letterman should scrap the second segment, which is almost always Top Ten. He should just do a longer monologue and include a few bits in the monologue when appropriate. Other than that he should go deep into these interviews like he did with Obama. What I like about Obama’s trip to Letterman, and why I hate it when Republicans bash him about going to see Letterman, is that he is talking to the people as genuinely considered human being. He didn’t plug about voting for him and how stupid his opponent is, he was just talking about the issues he sees America facing but more the things he’s been doing lately; the people he’s meet and all. And Letterman asked some really thoughtful questions like what is hPpening with the debt, not just sucking up to the POTUS. Late night needs to be more like this. Totally agree.

  • Monikka

    I was also very impressed with both President Obama and Letterman last night. The road to the White House does run through the Late Show.

    I would love to see Romney (try to) talk to Letterman but I don’t think it will happen.

  • Adam

    Letterman has adopted this attitude that he will do whatever he wishes on the show, which is his right after thirty years. I do think he needs to make some changes to keep himself and his show relevant. The top ten is his signature bit, although you can tell he’s bored with it, and it is frequently every bit as lame as Jay Leno’s headlines.

    But when it comes to deeper interviews, he’ll have to give up most film plugging celebrities, who have no capability of deep discussion. Letterman is at his best when there is a Regis, Tom Brokaw, Brian Williams, Don Rickles, etc.

  • Adam

    Looks like Dave had his best night in a few years last night, smashing Leno. Nice to see that once in a while. Leno’s interview with Obama was nothing compared to Letterman’s.

  • Aaron

    Headlines has become stale, but I thought the recent Lionel Ritchie one was brilliant.

  • Aaron

    Whoops, I meant the Top 10.

  • Aaron

    Monikka, didn’t Romney once make an appearance on Letterman for the Top 10?

  • Adam

    Right on both counts, Aaron. Top Ten went stale a long time ago, Headlines went stale about 1993.

  • Adam

    Wonder if Letterman’s numbers from last night will give him the mojo to give him a victory for the week.

    Would be nice for him to be able to crow he won the first week of the broadcast season.

  • Tony

    Letterman got 1.1 rating (18-49 demo) last night. Letterman’s 18-49 rating for the week should be at least 0.6.

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