ABC’s 'Jimmy Kimmel Live' Attracts its Largest Audience in its 10-Year History

Categories: Late Night TV Ratings,Network TV Press Releases

Written By

January 14th, 2013

via press release:

ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live” Attracts its Largest Audience in its 10-Year History


“JKL” Ties NBC’s “Tonight Show” as Late-Night’s No. 1 Talk Show in Adults 18-49


“Jimmy Kimmel Live”

During its first week in its new 11:35 p.m. time slot (Tuesday-Friday), ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live” attracted its biggest audience in its history (3.009 million), surpassing the show’s previous high by 26% (2.388 million on w/o 11/21/11). In addition, “JKL” delivered its best performance with Adults 18-49 (0.84 rating) in over 9 years (since the week of 11/24/03).


  • “Jimmy Kimmel Live” ranked as the week’s No. 1 talk-show in late-night in Adults 18-49 (0.84), tying NBC’s “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.”


  • “JKL” beat CBS’ “The Late Show with David Letterman” during the week by 27% in Adults 18-49 (0.84 vs. 0.66), marking “JKL’s” first-ever in-season win and its largest margin of victory ever during any week over “The Late Show.”


  • “JKL” grew over its 2012-13 season averages in its previous 12:00 a.m. time slot by 55% in Total Viewers (3.009 million vs. 1.942 million) and by 58% in Adults 18-49 (0.84 vs. 0.53).


  • In the 25 markets with Local People Meters, “JKL” beat both “The Tonight Show” and “The Late Show” during the week in Adults 18-49 in 12 markets, including the No. 1 U.S. market, New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Dallas, San Francisco, Atlanta, Houston, Seattle, Miami, Orlando, Sacramento and Pittsburgh.





Tues-Fri Average

ABC “JKL”                 3,009,000         0.84     

NBC “Tonight Show”        3,525,000         0.84

CBS “Late Show”           3,137,000         0.66



Source: Nielsen Media Research, (Live + Same Day, Fast National Program Ratings, 1/8-1/11/13).

  • Gary Middleton

    Would imagine Jay squeaked out the 18-49 win, or else the press release would’ve given us the actual demo viewer numbers.

  • RJ

    Third place in total viewers and first/second in the demo – just as everyone suspected. No shocks here.

  • jcfreder

    I’m interested to see if the averaging of these “fast national” numbers is revised at all to get the final numbers that are usually put out Thursday, or whether this report is just as accurate as those numbers.

    In these numbers, both Dave and Jay ended up almost spot on with the preliminary numbers. Jimmy dropped from a .98 to a .84. In recent history, Jay has dropped slightly from the overnights, and Dave has generally increased about .1 to .2 from the overnights. (Not sure what Nightline used to do.) So are any of these ratings going to change, or is this report the same as the normal Thursday final numbers?

    In any case, Jay has to be feeling pretty good. It would be virtually unprecedented for a late night show to do better in its second week than in its first, which means that Jimmy should tail off a little.

  • Gary Middleton

    ” It would be virtually unprecedented for a late night show to do better in its second week than in its first”

    It’s probably also unprecedented for a show to do better on night 3 than on night 1, but that’s what JKL seemed to do.

    JKL wasn’t really launching, just moving time slots. And the move had so little hype attached to it, I don’t think it has to recede much.

    btw, once Leno’s Monday gets factored in, they might be able to declare that JKL won the first week.

  • Dee

    Congrats to Kimmel! I definitely love this new time and hey, when 12am comes around, I now have 3 talks show to pick from for Guests/Superstars I want hear promoting their next film, etc.

    I will say though, my FAVORITE late night talk show is still Jimmy Fallon hands down!!! Lorne Michaels (SNL Exec Producer) was genius for bringing Jimmy to late night! I’m trying to get tickets! Love. Love. Love.

  • Douglas in TN

    Dee…your post raises a question I’ve been kicking around, now that we’ve got three big hitter talk shows on network at 11:35.

    How many viewers watch a show based out of pure loyalty to a host, as opposed to watching because of who that host’s guest is?

    I watch Late Show for Letterman, and watch Acts I and II, maybe III if that’s when the TTL is on. Rarely do I watch the guest interviews, unless it’s someone like Regis or Rickles, when it’s fun. Never if it’s somebody selling a film or show.

    When Letterman’s on vacation, I’ll flip on Kimmel…then turn him off when the self promoting celebs come on.

    My wife is the opposite…she’s more excited when her favorite people are on. She’ll stomach Leno to see some big shot plugging his or her film.

    Just wondering if in this new lineup if indeed booking wars will determine success.

  • Neal

    Someone who saw Entertainment Tonight and Access Hollywood told me they said Leno won the week but they said Kimmel improved. Guess it depends how you view the numbers.

  • Bumfuzzled

    Letterman, the grump, had the best guest with Mr. Tiger Blood.

    Meanwhile Jay had on an undeserving trashy diva….

    Advantage to the grump

  • Joe

    @Bumfuzzled: Letterman the grump?? You have go to be kidding. How do you figure?

  • Bumfuzzled

    @Joe- Ask the people who work for him. There is the Dave you see on camera and the curmudgeon when off canera.

  • Mr

    Joe,I know someone who worked on Letterman & he said that no one could interact with him in any way prior to the show. If he came towards you, say walking down a hallway, they were instructed to “not make eye contact” & to move out of his way. He’s a weird, moody creep, that comes from someone who worked for on the show. He wasn’t much warmer with his guests, either.

    As for Kimmel, I really like his show & think he’s funny, but I thought it was classless the way he insulted Leno.

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