ABC’s 'Jimmy Kimmel Live' Beats Leno and Letterman With Its Best Numbers Yet at 11:35PM

Categories: Late Night TV Ratings,Network TV Press Releases

Written By

January 11th, 2013

via press release:

ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live” Sees its Best Numbers Yet in its New Time Slot


“JKL” is Late-Night’s No. 1 Talk Show in Adults 18-49 on Thursday, Beating

NBC’s “The Tonight Show” and CBS’ “The Late Show” by More Than 30% Each


“JKL” Beats its NBC and CBS Competition in Each of the Top 5 U.S. Markets



“Jimmy Kimmel Live”

On Thursday, January 10, 2013, ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live” delivered its best numbers yet in its new 11:35 p.m. time slot on its third day, spiking over Wednesday by 11% in Total Viewers (3.167 million vs. 2.859 million) and by 15% in Adults 18-49 (1.241 million vs. 1.083 million). In fact, with Thursday’s telecast (3.167 million) and Tuesday’s debut (3.097 million), “JKL” scored 2 of its Top 3 most-watched episodes ever.


  • “Jimmy Kimmel Live” ranked as Thursday’s No. 1 talk-show in late-night in Adults 18-49 (1.241 million), beating NBC’s “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” by an impressive 32% (938,000) and CBS’ “The Late Show with David Letterman” by a best-yet 34% (929,000).


  • Through its first 3 days in its new time slot (Tuesday-Thursday), “JKL” (1.070 million) is leading “The Tonight Show” by 3% (1.037 million) in Adults 18-49 and CBS’ “The Late Show” by 23% (870,000).


  • In the 25 markets with Local People Meters, “JKL” ranked No. 1 in its time periods in Adults 18-49 in each of the Top 5 U.S. markets: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia and Dallas.



PROGRAM AVERAGES        TOTAL VIEWERS      A18-49(000)/ Rtg


Thursday, 01/10/13

ABC “JKL”                 3,167,000         1,241,000/ 0.98     

NBC “Tonight Show”        3,400,000           938,000/ 0.74

CBS “Late Show”           3,289,000           929,000/ 0.73

  • Gary Middleton

    I think that’s moving the goal posts. Johnny had far fewer viewers at the end of his run than in the middle, and often lost the demo to a syndicated show at the end.

    If Jimmy had said “that crown retired in the middle of Johnny’s run”, I would take it as intellectually honest, instead of boilerplate genuflection. I also think if Dave dominated late night instead of Jay from 1995 to 2009, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.

    But I’ll leave it alone now, the “king” discussion never really interested me that much.

  • Dan

    Good for Jimmy. Doesnt really matter if the numbers hold or not he’s a success. And Leno sucks so bad, how anyone can watch him is beyond me. Id rather watch Carson Daly.

  • Neal

    Gary, Leno even beat Carson as guest host many times.

    Dan, you are thinking of Conan. His version of the TS was unwatchable while Leno has been the King for nearly 20 years!

  • the_trouble_with_the_truth

    @Neal I dont watch any of these shows but I would like a link to where you found the info that Jimmy has a better lead in than Jay. there is local news on before that and I have never seen ratings for that. Just curious cause to many people make up fake stats on this site to try to prove their point.

  • the_trouble_with_the_truth

    Opps, that last comment was for Nick or anyone who can lead me to that info.

  • Douglas in TN

    Mario, knock the Conan stuff off already, nobody’s talking about Conan. Give it a rest.

    Can’t Bill do something about this guy?

  • Dan1

    By the way, there are now 2 Dan’s here. I’m the one that has been posting every now and then over the last 6 months and doesn’t say things like “Leno sucks”.

    I’ll go by Dan1 from here on out.

  • Bill Gorman

    “I’ll go by Dan1 from here on out.”

    You can also create a unique gravatar (those little pictures that appear next to names) via the instructions at the top of the comments section.

  • Douglas in TN

    Does anybody really think this one or so minute variance in start times for these shows is making a difference at all?

    I though it was stupid 25 years ago when they shifted the shows to 11:35 to add more “content” to the local news, when it was 98% commercials.

    And I’m wondering who wrote the new opening spiel on Letterman; trying to decide if that’s a genuine line or if they’re trying to mock something.

  • TV Gord

    I don’t think these numbers are a temporary thing. As much as I idolize Dave, I have to say Jimmy’s monologue is the most consistently funny among the three. All people had to do is sample Jimmy. I don’t think they’re going anywhere (not all of them, anyway).

    I’m sorry to see Dave suffer because of Jimmy’s success, but you could see that coming. Jimmy and Dave attracts the same kind of audience, so it stands to reason Dave’s numbers would reflect that. In my heart, though, I still hope Dave will pull ahead of whoever it is who replaced Carson on NBC. They are only 11,000 viewers apart in the 18-49 category.

  • Dan

    Douglas, good question. I wonder how NBC clawed back 1 minute of advertising revenue for their affiliates local news by starting Leno at 11:34 PM (one minute earlier than Dave and Jimmy). I also wonder if that has an impact on Jay’s ratings?

    Bill, thanks for the tip on the gravatar, I can now be “Dan” again.

  • Dan

    Thanks Bill, now I can be “Dan” again.

    Douglas, good questions. I also wonder how Jay starting at 11:34 PM now impacts his ratings (and how NBC was able to take that minute away from their affiliates).

  • GARebelman

    I don’t guess ABC was in the mood to send a press release today since the overnights showed Jimmy loosing in the 56 meters and the demo and Nightline loosing too :P

  • Douglas in TN

    Was it ever determined if Kimmel is going to run first run episodes or repeats on Fridays? Seems to me it would be a boneheaded move to run a repeat of such a new venture on Fridays. Eventually, come summer, when Letterman goes into Friday repeats, it would be handing the keys to Leno.

  • Gary Middleton

    Can’t confirm this but it looks like Friday repeats will return next week. I believe the 4-day week is a key part of the business plan, and it’s another reason they don’t have to “win”. Their costs are lower.

    I think Kimmel can run his own race and not worry about the other guys. Dave and Jay are guaranteed to sink in the demo. When Fallon moves to 11:30, it’ll be a different story.

  • Neal

    Gary, you act like NBC has already announced a move. Don’t jump the gun!

  • Douglas in TN

    Reasonable minds know that the executives at NBC have to be considering what they want and need within the next 2-5 years. Just because nothing’s been announced aside from some slyly placed stories in the press (like Leno and his manager did with Carson in 1991) doesn’t mean considerations aren’t being made.

    That’s why I found that unaired excerpt from the Letterman/ Oprah interview fascinating. One call from Les Moonves and Letterman turns in his parking pass…and I take him at his word on that. Leno, however, will be leaving that studio feet first if he has his way.

  • Gary MIddleton

    “That’s why I found that unaired excerpt from the Letterman/ Oprah interview fascinating. One call from Les Moonves and Letterman turns in his parking pass…and I take him at his word on that.”

    Yes, if Dave is fired he will leave. Also known as a truism.

    The real revelation in that moment was that Dave, after years of claiming he won’t do this much longer and mocking people who hang on too long, will never leave of his own accord. He is just like the others.

  • Igor

    Who do you guys think will replace Leno and Letterman when they retire??

  • Gary MIddleton

    “Gary, you act like NBC has already announced a move.”

    They have to make a move or they risk ceding much of a generation of what’s-left-of-tv-viewers to ABC and cable. Have to get these viewers before they become set in their ways.

    Igor, I think Fallon replaces Leno in 2014. If I had to wager, Ferguson would replace Dave, but I’m not as confident about that one. What do you think?

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