Late Night TV Ratings For December 17-21, 2012

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

Written By

December 31st, 2012

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

Via NBC's Press Release

'Tonight Show' AND 'LATE NIGHT' HIT SEASON HIGHS AS THEY WIN THE WEEK OF DEC. 17-21
IN TOTAL VIEWERS, JAY LENO SCORES A 10-MONTH HIGH AND JIMMY FALLON DELIVERS HIS BIGGEST WEEKLY AUDIENCE IN NEARLY THREE YEARSEXCLUDING WEEKS OF MAJOR SPORTS OVERRUNS, JAY GENERATES HIS BIGGEST 18-49 AUDIENCE IN 10 MONTHS AND JIMMY HITS AN 18-MONTH HIGH

 

SEASON TO DATE, JAY HAS INCREASED HIS YEAR-AGO MARGINS OVER 'Late Show' IN VIEWERS 18-34, 18-49 AND 25-54 AND JIMMY EXTENDS HIS LEAD OVER 'LATE Late Show' IN 18-49

 

 

UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. – December 31, 2012 – NBC’s “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” and "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" have scored season highs in viewers 18-49 and total viewers during the week of December 17-21, with both show achieving 15-week highs in adult 18-49 viewers.

 

In total viewers, Jay generated his biggest overall audience in 10 months and Jimmy scored his top total-viewer result in nearly three years.

 

Ratings were boosted last week by the Tuesday, Dec. 18 primetime finale of "The Voice" and by an appearance on the Wednesday telecast of "Tonight" by "Voice" winner Cassadee Pope. Thursday's "Late Night" featured Billy Crystal, Tyson Chandler and musical guest Cee Lo Green, who sat in with The Roots, as well as an appearance by Jerry Seinfeld.

 

Jay's 1.264 million adults 18-49 viewers for the week is "Tonight's" highest since September 3-7 (1.340 million), the week of a major NFL overrun, and Jimmy's 776,000 adults 18-49 is also "Late Night's" highest since that same week (855,000). Excluding weeks of major sport overruns, it's the biggest 18-49 audience for "Tonight" in 10 months (since the week of February 6-10, 1.307 million) and biggest for "Late Night" in 18 months (June 20-24, 2011, 899,000).

 

In total viewers, Jay's 4.057 million persons is his highest average since the week of February 6-10 (4.075 million), the post-Super Bowl week, which featured the premiere of the prior "Voice" cycle, and Jimmy's 2.029 million is his biggest overall audience since the week of January 18-22, 2010 (2.162 million).

 

For the week, "Tonight" and "Late Night" beat the time-period competition on ABC and CBS in all key ratings categories: adults, men and women 18-34, 18-49 and 25-54, plus total viewers.

 

Season to date for the 2012-13 season, "Tonight" has stretched its leads versus one year ago over CBS's "Late Show" in viewers 18-34, 18-49 and 25-54. In viewers 18-49, "Tonight" has established a margin over "Late Show" of 13 percent (1.047 million vs. 925,000), eliminating last year's "Late Show" advantage of 1 percent. Jay has also generated a 25-54 advantage this season of 10 percent (1.331 million vs. 1.215 million) after trailing by 0.2 percent at this point last year, and has stretched his 18-34 lead to 18 percent (348,000 vs. 296,000), up from last year’s 15 percent.

 

Jimmy Fallon has established an 18 percent lead over "Late Late Show" this season in viewers 18-49 (671,000 vs. 570,000), up from 13 percent at this point last season.

 

"Tonight" delivered a bigger 18-49 audience than "Late Show" for the eighth time in the last nine weeks, while Jimmy Fallon has attracted a bigger 18-49 audience than "Late Late Show" for 11 weeks in a row.

 

WEEKLY AVERAGES

 

(According to in-home viewing figures from Nielsen Media Research for the week of December 17-21. 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,” 1.0 rating, 4 share

CBS “Late Show,” 0.7/3

 

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,” 0.4/2

 

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

NBC “Last Call,” 0.3/2*

 

TOTAL VIEWERS

 

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

NBC “Tonight,” 4.1 million viewers

CBS “Late Show,” 3.1 million viewers

 

11:35 p.m.-12 midnight ET

ABC “Nightline,” 4.0 million viewers

 

12 midnight-1 a.m. ET

ABC “Kimmel,” 1.8 million viewers*

 

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

NBC “Late Night,” 2.0 million viewers

CBS “Late Late Show,” 1.4 million viewers

 

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

NBC “Last Call,” 0.9 million viewers*

 

*Friday’s “Last Call” and Wednesday through Friday’s “Kimmels” were encores.

 

 

SEASON TO DATE

 

ADULTS 18-49

 

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

NBC “Tonight,” 0.8 rating, 3 share

CBS “Late Show,” 0.7/3

 

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,” 0.5/3

 

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

NBC “Last Call,” 0.3/2

 

TOTAL VIEWERS

 

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

NBC “Tonight,” 3.5 million viewers

CBS “Late Show,” 3.1 million viewers

 

11:35 p.m.-12 midnight ET

ABC “Nightline,” 3.9 million viewers

 

12 midnight-1 a.m. ET

ABC “Kimmel,” 1.9 million viewers

 

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

NBC “Late Night,” 1.7 million viewers

CBS “Late Late Show,” 1.5 million viewers

 

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

NBC “Last Call,” 0.9 million viewers

 

 

SELECTED CABLE RESULTS, WEEK OF DECEMBER 17-21

 

NATIONAL ADULT 18-49 RATING

 

Comedy Central, 11-11:30 p.m. ET, “The Daily Show,” 0.4 with encore telecasts

Comedy Central, 11:30 p.m.-midnight ET, “The Colbert Report,” 0.3 with encore telecasts

 

TBS, 11 p.m.-midnight, “Conan,” 0.5

 

Adult Swim, 11:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m. ET, 1.0

Adult Swim, 12:30-1:30 a.m. ET, 0.6

 

Each adult 18-49 rating point equals 1.27 million viewers

 

TOTAL VIEWERS

 

Comedy Central, 11-11:30 p.m. “The Daily Show,” 0.7 million with encore telecasts

Comedy Central, 11:30 p.m.-midnight ET, “The Colbert Report,” 0.6 million with encore telecast

 

TBS, 11 p.m.-midnight, “Conan,” 1.0 million

 

Adult Swim, 11:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m. ET, 2.2 million

Adult Swim, 12:30-1:30 a.m. ET, 1.5 million

 

###

 
  • Joseph

    “Nightline” still wins the 11:30 P.M. (ET/PT) half-hour in total viewers and is competitive in key demos.

    As I have written on these forums before, I think ABC’s decision to move up Jimmy Kimmel to 11:30 and push “Nightline” back to 12:30 A.M. (ET/PT) is going to backfire.

    Mark my words: By the end of 2013, “Nightline” will be back at 11:30, and Kimmel, if he’s still on (and doesn’t leave because his timeslot gets pushed back), will be back at Midnight.

  • Gary Middleton

    Perfect confluence for Leno of a massive live lead-in (Voice finale) and a 4-show week and the holiday season. Last weekly 1.0 we will ever see in network late night other than premieres and finales?

  • Gary Middleton

    “Nightline” still wins the 11:30 P.M. (ET/PT) half-hour in total viewers and is competitive in key demos.”

    Joseph, are you privy to ratings info that isn’t on this site?

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Bill Gorman

    “Joseph, are you privy to ratings info that isn’t on this site?”

    I doubt it. Far more likely a simple misunderstanding of the information in this post.

  • Gary Middleton

    Thanks, Bill, I think that’s probably true. Hard to imagine Leno having less than 3.9 million viewers from 11:35 to midnight and still emerging with 3.5 million for the hour. GAR used to find occasional half-hourlies and the dropoff after midnight was precipitous.

  • GARebelman

    I sadly can’t find those anymore at least for now. I Don’t know what people think Kimmel is going to get. ABC isn’t exactly dominating the 10PM lineup either.

  • anonymous

    Most people on this thread are predicting the days of Leno at The Tonight Show are nearly over. That’s all they are — predictions. So before Kimmel moves to 11:35pm, I’ll make a prediction of my own, and that is that Leno will stick around longer than they think.

    I take Robert Greenblatt at his word when the Wall Street Journal states: [Meanwhile, Mr. Greenblatt hasn’t spoken to the 62-year-old host about ending his 20-year-reign at “Tonight.” “That’s a conversation we’ll have as we look down the road,” he said.]

    Greenblatt is likely waiting for the Kimmel move to see how the latenight landscape adjusts before he makes his decision. If Kimmel beats Leno, then I would agree that Leno is done. But I don’t think that is going to happen. The latenight audience does not vary much; they know who Kimmel is; there is no such thing as re-introducing Kimmel.

    Dan said: Likely demos for Jay:

    2012 /13 = 0.8
    2013/14 = 0.7
    2014/15 = 0.6
    2015/16 = 0.5
    2016/17 = 0.4

    He may be right about that, but you could just as likely say that those are also the ratings projections for Fallon, Kimmel, and Ferguson at 11:35pm.

    Network tv as a whole is in decline, latenight included. The chances of a new face reversing that trend is slim. Greenblatt might be waiting to see if Kimmel can do it (the supposed broad-appealling choice of the youth). If Kimmel can’t do it, then what is the likelihood of Fallon doing it?

    If that is the case then it becomes a matter of budget and Leno is willing to do it for free.

    The longer there is no announcement, the better things look for Leno. If Fallon is going to take over Tonight, then there will have to be time allowed for the transition either for the move to the west coast or to a new studio. What are the chances of those kinds of preparations going on without it leaking out? Plus, how eager is Fallon really about taking over? The whole timeslot issue doesn’t mean as much as it used to now that anybody can see your show at anytime and on any device they want on demand. Fallon would like to inherit Leno’s audience and the appearance of forcing Leno out would not be to his advantage.

    Even though it is greatly deminished, being the leader in your timeslot still means something.

  • Gary Middleton

    I hope you’re right, Anonymous. But let me address a few of these:

    “You could just as likely say that those are also the ratings projections for Fallon, Kimmel, and Ferguson at 11:35pm.”

    I don’t think so and the reason is age. Jay and Dave are a chart straight down. But it’s at least plausible for Fallon/Kimmel to acquire new viewers under 50. In fact, Kimmel- unlike Dave and Jay- has shed very few viewers since 2008. (In fairness, he has moved up 5 minutes and gained some key station clearances.)

    “If that is the case then it becomes a matter of budget and Leno is willing to do it for free.”

    Much of the juice from that cost saving has already been squeezed. What’s left is likely still a very expensive show compared to the competition.

    “Fallon would like to inherit Leno’s audience and the appearance of forcing Leno out would not be to his advantage.”

    Waiting might not be a luxury Fallon and NBC can afford, and this might be the important part. We’re very focused on Jay’s viability, but looming equally large is the viability of Fallon’s big show at 12:30 which is starting to edge towards the 0.4s. And will keep heading down with his lead-in. Thus my case that the 11:30 shows are now dragging down the 12:30 shows. NBC has to make that stop before they have 2 money losing shows.

    Unless you think Fallon would gain less than 2 tenths of a ratings point by moving up an hour, which seems nearly impossible to me, then there might be almost no downside to replacing Jay Leno with Jimmy Fallon.

    “Even though it is greatly deminished, being the leader in your timeslot still means something.”

    And, as Adult Swim runs away with that title, it’s incumbent on NBC to consider its options well before Iron Jay is pushing 70.

    Anonymous, I hope you’ll be as tenacious as in our last back and forth. I would love to believe in another several years of the Leno Tonight Show.

  • anonymous

    An entertainment reporter would love nothing more than to break the news that Leno’s days at Tonight are over. If Seth Meyers or Tina Fey were going to take over Fallon’s spot, word would spread like wildfire that Leno is done.

  • Gary Middleton

    Yes, there can be no secrets. Jay still has at least a year and a half to go and we’ve already had a widely disseminated NY Daily News article about his cancellation.

    btw, I got a 2nd hand report tracing back to the Leno camp that Jay already has one other offer. I’d consider that a bluff that was credible in 2008 and isn’t credible today.

  • Gary Middleton

    GAR, funny that ABC might have to start arguing with its own past press releases in order to defend Kimmel’s number vs. his Nightline predecessor.

    After years of cheating by comparing Nightline to Dave and Jay’s full hour, they might have to really spell it out for the press: “Yeah, but those were 25 minute numbers. Jimmy is the full hour. It’s apples and oranges.”

  • Nick

    My guess is that the lack of Nightline will help Leno, and Leno will be around for 3-5 more years. Nightline viewers are not going to start watching Kimmel, most likely. They’re going to move to either Letterman or Leno, and let’s be real – they’re not going to Letterman. And Kimmel’s already been around for years. Why would people start watching him now? He’s only moving forward a half hour, and he isn’t even that funny. I just have to agree with Joseph that this whole move is probably going to backfire ABC. They just better hope that Kimmel isn’t upset when he gets bumped back to midnight. If anything, they should have him some type of agreement in place if things don’t work, because the last thing ABC needs is latenight backlash.

    I think it’s pretty clear that Fallon is taking over for Leno, but I don’t think Fallon is ready for that yet, nor do I think NBC is ready for yet another change. Leno is doing fine – he pulled a 1.0 and 4 million viewers on average this week. Not bad at all. Sure, he can’t do this every week, but what he is doing – with a cut budget and one that can probably be cut more because Jay does seem willing to get paid very little in return for continuing as host – is still viable, and still very much recognized. As long as he keeps pulling the ratings he is now, Leno should still be at the helm for another 3-5 years minimum.

  • Joe

    Happy New Year!!! As many times as I have read the ratings here, I will never understand how Jay gets more viewers than Letterman. Here’s a guy who was supposed to leave a few years back and is back on top. Very frustrated with all this. I know I am a Letterman guy and will always will be. Letterman is the best interviewer on late night bare none. My hope is that at some point viewers will tune out Leno but I doubt it.

  • Douglas in TN

    No doubt that at least among late night fans, ABC’s press releases will be among the most watched and mocked, especially if the numbers skew the way we think they will.

    Not sure I understand this fascination with Jay Leno. Now I am an unabashed David Letterman fan, but I’ll be the first to admit that while his show still flirts with genius, as Tom Shales said, his is an example of a tired show and tired format.

    Is there a more tired show than Leno’s Tonight Show? The ungenuine hi-fives and hand slaps, the predictable monologue, skits more lame than funny, and formulaic celebrity interviews. At least before we had a decent band with Kevin Eubanks, although he could be irritating. Now the band is as unexciting as it can get. But there are some who think that Leno will be 93 and still pumping out machine gun monologues. Knowing Jay as we do, perhaps he will.

  • GARebelman

    I do agree, Kimmel is not going to start pulling Nightline numbers and it is silly to assume people are just going to start watching him OR Nightline’s audience is going to start watching him. Nightline has an older skew (you can see it in the 25-54 demo) so where do you think they will go? Either Letterman/Leno/Fox syndication or just plain go to bed.

    I do agree with Gary, ABC will have to start pointing out the real numbers now instead of saying 25 minutes beat 1 hour shows.

    Let’s also realize that ABC’s 10PM shows aren’t exactly blowing the roof tops off either. Castle skews pretty old. Private Practice is barely on the radar. Nashville has started loosing to Chicago Fire.

  • Gary Middleton

    Very interested in the case that Anonymous and Nick are building. Could be a hell of thread for the first half of 2013. Nick, indulge me here:

    “They’re going to move to either Letterman or Leno, and let’s be real – they’re not going to Letterman.”

    Very curious why you think that.

    “And Kimmel’s already been around for years. Why would people start watching him now?”

    Because there are way, way more people awake between 11:35 and midnight than between 12:35 and 1.

    “nor do I think NBC is ready for yet another change.”

    It will be their first change. This is a new NBC. New owners, executives, programmers. New brooms love to sweep clean.

    “Leno is doing fine – he pulled a 1.0 and 4 million viewers on average this week.”

    We know what Jay really does, though. He does 0.82. Not bad in this era, but the problem is it can only go down, and down sharply. They’re programming for 2014 and beyond, and what will Jay’s demo number be then, when a whole lot of his viewers have gone from their late 40s to early 50s?

    And how much more revenue is possible with a host who effortlessly does live commercials for the latest smartphone?

  • Gary Middleton

    I wonder if Kimmel is really the shot in the dark many think. ABC has had 10 years of watching his numbers, not just in his regular slot but in all kinds of other situations. NBA pre-game, post-Oscars, etc. There are certainly no sure things, but they had a ton of data to work with before making this decision.

  • Douglas in TN

    Not that Leno would allow it, but during those weeks Leno’s show is dark, it would be neat to see how, say, Fallon would do at 11:30, both in terms of content and ratings.

    I remember that when Johnny Carson had his primetime anniversary shows Letterman would do his show at 11:30, and that showed me that he could handle 11:30 just fine on those few occasions.

    But I would predict NBC would find that a Fallon 11:30 would draw the same demo numbers, if not greater, than Leno is now. (Apologies to Neal/ Mario, knowing this will tick him off.)

    Gary’s point is an excellent one…there is, basically, a new NBC, with new management and programming people. There seems to be no loyalty to Leno beyond a contract.

  • Joel

    It doesn’t matter how long Leno sticks around, he will never get average ratings at or below 0.6. No way no how.

  • Douglas in TN

    Joel, I wouldn’t place money on that.

    We have a potential three way split in network talk shows coming up…the first time in a looooooooong time.

    And if the thinking is true and Letterman announces he’s leaving in 2014 (which I think might be the case) he’ll get a bump, though those may be former viewers returning instead of from another show.)

    But, as Gary correctly pointed out, Jay’s audience is, as is Dave’s, growing older, and you’ll be hard pressed to find an under 30 die hard Jay Leno fan.

© 2014 Tribune Digital Ventures