Late Night TV Ratings For March 11-15, 2013

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

Written By

March 21st, 2013

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

Via NBC's Press Release






UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. — March 21, 2013 — “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” and “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” have finished #1 for the week of March 11-15 in every key ratings category versus their ABC and CBS time-period competition.


At 11:35 p.m. ET, “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” delivered bigger audiences than CBS’s “Late Show with David Letterman” and ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live” in total viewers as well as both men and women in the 18-49, 18-34 and 25-54 demos.


For the week, “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” averaged 3.4 million total viewers at 11:35 p.m., while “Late Show With David Letterman” averaged 2.9 million. “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” which was in rebroadcast, averaged 2.1 million. In the 18-49 demo, “The Tonight Show” averaged 0.7, topping the 0.6 of both “Late Show” and “Jimmy Kimmel Live.”


Leno has now delivered bigger 18-49 audiences than "Late Show" for the last 17 weeks in a row and topped "Kimmel" for eight of their 10 head-to-head weeks. In total viewers, Leno has out-delivered Letterman for 21 weeks in a row and all 10 weeks he and Kimmel have competed versus one another.


At 12:35 a.m. ET, “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” averaged 1.7 million viewers for the week, which was 300,000 more than CBS’s “Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson.” ABC’s newsmagazine “Nightline” drew 1.3 million for its half-hour telecast. “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon,” which featured weeklong appearances from Justin Timberlake, also defeated “Late Late Show” in the 18-49 demo – 0.5 vs. 0.4 – while “Nightline” earned a 0.3.


Versus the same week last year, “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” was up 33 percent in adults 18-34 (to 283,000 viewers vs. 212,000) and up 30 percent in teens 12-17 (39,000 vs. 30,000).


Friday's "Late Night" generated Fallon’s biggest 18-49 audience (889,000) for any night of the week since Thanksgiving (when NBC Sports covered NFL football in primetime). Excluding nights of special primetime sports coverage, this was the biggest "Late Night" 18-49 audience in more than a year, since Friday, Feb. 3, 2012, during a week of special telecasts from Indianapolis leading up to the Super Bowl.


Fallon has now generated bigger 18-49 audiences than "Late Late Show" for 22 of the last 23 weeks and prevailed in total viewers for 19 of the last 21 weeks. Versus "Nightline" in their head-to-head half-hour, Fallon has out-delivered the ABC series for 10 weeks in a row in viewers 18-49 and six of the last seven weeks in total viewers.




(According to in-home viewing figures from Nielsen Media Research for the week of March 11-15. 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,” 0.6/3


ABC “Kimmel,” 0.6/2 with encore telecasts


12:35-1:05 a.m. ET


ABC “Nightline,” 0.3/2


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,” 3.4 million viewers


CBS “Late Show,” 2.9 million viewers


ABC “Kimmel,” 2.1 million viewers with encore telecasts


12:35-1:05 a.m. ET


ABC “Nightline,” 1.3 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




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


ABC “Kimmel,” 0.7/3**


12:35-1:05 a.m. ET


ABC “Nightline,” 0.4/2**


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,” 3.5 million viewers


CBS “Late Show,” 3.1 million viewers


ABC “Kimmel,” 2.6 million viewers**


12:35-1:05 a.m. ET


ABC “Nightline,” 1.6 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


** Since January 8.






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,” 0.4 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, 0.7


Each adult 18-49 rating point equals 1.27 million viewers




Comedy Central, 11-11:30 p.m. “The Daily Show,” 0.9 million with encore telecasts


Comedy Central, 11:30 p.m.-midnight ET, “The Colbert Report,” 0.7 million with encore telecasts


TBS, 11 p.m.-midnight, “Conan,” 0.9 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




  • Gary Middleton

    ps, Brad, one of the reasons the “glue” idea can work is it avoids the stigma of wiping out the 10 pm dramas. It makes Leno a placeholder that can complement the dramas, and keep the time slot warm. As opposed to this suicide mission the dramas are currently on, stepping into a totally vacant piece of TV real estate that nobody has visited in ages.

  • Gary Middleton

    A little honesty looks good on Kimmel:

    “I’d rather he go to his garage and not compete with anybody. He remains very popular and as far as I’m concerned the less competition the better.”

  • Monikka

    Nothing looks good on Jimmy Kimmel, literally or figuratively.

  • Nick

    Of course Kimmel has to throw his two cents in. What an ass wipe that guy is. I honestly can’t stand him.

    And FOX already throwing around names for Leno’s new show lolololol. This is just too much.

    I agree with those who said The Jay Leno Show was funnier than the current Tonight Show. It very much resembled the old Tonight Show with Jay Leno – a little more wacky, a little less constrained, a little more variety. It’s a shame they stopped doing that as soon as he went back to 11:35.

    Honestly, though, I think the biggest thing missing on TNS is Kevin Eubanks. His banter with Jay was the highlight of the show, imo, and now that’s gone. I don’t know why Rickey can’t be more than just a bandleader. Kevin was perfect, and there’s a huge vacancy in the show without him. Quite frankly, Leno is a lot funnier when he has a bald black man laughing obnoxiously by his side.

    I think the funniest thing of all of this, though, is that despite Jay continuously winning his timeslot, his age is what people are blaming his “declining ratings” on. The truth is, if NBC was doing 2.5+ at 10pm, Leno would probably be hitting a 1.0+ regularly, and then he’d be hailed as the man who is singlehandedly keeping latenight afloat. It’s all so twisted and backward. It’s almost like NBC is using him as their scapegoat for their poor ratings. I feel bad for Leno, in all honesty. He deserves better.

  • Adam

    I think Jay will be treated better when he leaves NBC and inks a deal with another network.

  • Gary Middleton

    Adam, I don’t think he’ll get a deal with another network. I think Fox is working with Leno to make sure NBC makes as costly and panicked of a decision as possible. Again. And I’m amazed how many are buying the act. Again.

    Nick, I couldn’t agree more about Kevin. For many of us who truly loved the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, the affair began in 1995 and ended 2010: the duration of Kevin’s time as bandleader. Letterman was more eloquent and often funnier and smarter, Conan was more inventive and quicker, Stewart/Colbert was more socially relevant and clever, but Leno/Eubanks were always more fun and that’s all I needed at that hour.

  • GARebelman

    I still find it hilarious that apparently some people and apparently NBC think Jay should leave due to his age (they can’t cite ratings as he is winning). Yet this is the same network that has a Betty White prank show in prime time who is 30 years older than Jay. And that show has a higher Demo than Smash, Go On, New Normal, 1600 Penn, Fashion Star AND Rock Center!

  • Neal

    Brad, that’s what I think will happen. Leno will be an improvement over what they have now!

  • Gary Middleton

    “Yet this is the same network that has a Betty White prank show in prime time who is 30 years older than Jay.”

    The difference, GAR, is that is a show where the joke is that they’re old. Golden Girls, George Burns, that Six Flags dancing guy…all viable for younger demos. If the joke is “I’m a regular guy telling jokes”, then age is very much a factor.

  • Brad

    GAR, that’s exactly why I can see another offer from NBC for a one or two night show in primetime, but this time without a Pay-And-Play contract, especially one for five days. The premise was good, and the idea to cut back Leno slowly once a good program came on that NBC could use for an hour long block, but wow was it a risky move to lock Leno in for five days a week where he is untouchable. Eliminate the later and you are all set.

  • Ann


    “I think the funniest thing of all of this, though, is that despite Jay continuously winning his timeslot, his age is what people are blaming his “declining ratings” on.”

    It always amazes me that these things are not leveled at Letterman who is older than Jay and second to him in ratings.

  • Gary Middleton

    ” and, who will replace Ferguson? Why, it will be Geoff, or rather his alter ego, Josh Robert Thompson. He’s really, really funny in his own right and very quick-witted.”

    Monikka, I thought they were grooming Kristin Bell. Any truth to that?

  • Ann

    (CNN) — The news that NBC plans to dump Jay Leno — again — lifts the curtain on a dark corner of the media business.

    Is it the fact that a network could be thickheaded enough to call the same play that blew up last time with the Conan O’Brien debacle? Nah. That’s pretty obvious.

    It’s the way that television critics despise Leno, and how that colors the coverage of the late-night wars.

    When The New York Times’ Bill Carter broke the story last week that NBC is ready to hand “The Tonight Show” to Jimmy Fallon in 2014, there was this line buried deep in the piece: “Another complicating factor has been Mr. Leno’s success in the ratings.”

    Let’s ponder that for a moment. Leno has the top-rated show at 11:30. NBC executives are nonetheless planning on booting him when his contract expires in the fall of 2014 and moving the show from Burbank, California, to New York.

    Imagine how that story line would play out if critics and reporters viewed Leno as sympathetically as they do, say, Fallon or Leno’s ABC rival, Jimmy Kimmel.

    What?? NBC is kicking Jay to the curb? The guy who has made the network hundreds of millions of dollars over the last two decades? The man who bounced back from his last firing and regained the late-night throne? What did he do to deserve this?

    Instead the media reaction is a collective shrug of the shoulders: Yeah, makes sense. Time to wheel the old guy off the stage. Jay hasn’t been funny since the Clinton administration and Fallon appeals to a younger crowd.
    Late night war rages with Fallon, Leno
    Jay Leno jokes about NBC

    Time’s James Poniewozik writes that “Jay ‘It’s just a business’ Leno deserves no man’s pity however this plays out.” The Atlantic complains about his “groan-worthy jokes.”

    But here’s the thing: Leno doesn’t appeal to anyone but the viewers. At least those who live west of the Hudson River and east of the Santa Monica Mountains. He does broad comedy and hardly wields the kind of cutting-edge style favored by the bicoastal elites. But much of America likes him.

    Does the 62-year-old comic skew old? Well, he’s been beating Kimmel and David Letterman even in the coveted 18-to-49 demo.

    Watch: Is the press now forgetting the horror of Newtown?

    The critics made the same mistake last time around. Conan was so much funnier than Jay that giving him “Tonight” rather than risking his departure was a brilliant move by NBC. Except that O’Brien’s quirky humor appealed to a narrow slice of the audience, the ratings plummeted, and a $32 million payout later, he was gone and Leno was back.

    Leno has been punching back in his monologue, likening NBC suits to “snakes” and saying that the network’s motto is “The Biggest Loser.” The Times reports that a top executive ordered Leno to stop mocking the network, a ham-handed attempt at censorship that has obviously failed.

    One strange twist is that some conservative pundits are carping that NBC is ousting Leno because of his jokes about President Obama (he ribs every president) and because, unlike the more openly liberal Letterman, he appeals to the heartland.

    It’s obviously more of a dollars-and-cents gamble that Fallon is the future. And indeed, Jimmy Fallon makes sense as Leno’s eventual heir.

    Watch: Is there a double standard in gay marriage coverage?

    But in their haste, NBC execs risk blowing up the situation the way they did in hustling Ann Curry off the “Today” show, sparking a backlash against Matt Lauer and sending what had been the iconic morning show plunging into second place. Their prime-time lineup is in fifth place. Do they really need to immolate one of the few time periods where the network is No. 1? Fallon’s a young guy. Johnny Carson was 66 when he stepped down. What’s the rush?

    The critics, of course, won’t be happy until Leno is working the comedy clubs where he spends his vacations (and possibly competing against NBC from Fox). And they are entitled to their views of who has comedic chops and who is out of gas. But in this case, they’re out of touch with the people who vote with their remote controls.”

  • Gary Middleton

    Ann, sounds just like the “rural purge” of 1971. There was the exact same outrage over the cancellation of the Hillbillies, Mayberry, Green Acres, etc. All time slot winners.

    Their replacements? MTM, Newhart, All In The Family, MASH. Hard to argue with that move in retrospect.

    Leno has mostly been rocking since all this came out. Press leaning surprisingly favorable. We’ve had a more interesting 3 months in late night than in all of the previous 2 years combined.

  • Diana Santiago

    Conan delivered a flawless episode, and the media is already talking about it.

    “Conan O’Brien took the high road Monday on his TBS show Conan — the late night host’s first day back from a week-long hiatus that occurred at the same times news broke about a new succession plan for The Tonight Show.”

  • Monikka

    Gary Middleton said: “Monikka, I thought they were grooming Kristin Bell. Any truth to that?”

    The ONLY place I’ve ever seen Kristen Bell mentioned as a possible Ferguson replacement was here and it was posted by the crazy twins (Errol and Effie? Errol and something…) who have since been banned for sock puppetry. So, unless the aliens are communicating the truth through Errol and Effie’s tinfoil hats, there’s no truth to the Kristen Bell rumor.

  • Gary Middleton

    Thanks, Monikka.

  • anonymous

    Most credible report so far because the source has a name:

    The head of Fox’s powerful affiliate board — who represents the majority of the 206 Fox stations around the country, said yesterday he favors building a new late-night show — starting at 11 o’clock — around the departing “Tonight Show” host.

    “If Fox were to present the right business plan, the affiliate board would be interested,” Steve Pruett, the board chairman, told The Post.

    The prospect of Leno jumping networks — and gaining a half-hour jump on David Letterman and Jimmy Fallon, who has reportedly been told he is getting Leno’s job — would be a major blow to NBC’s plan for a smooth transition to a younger, hipper “Tonight” show host.

    When he leaves, Leno “could take a sizable crowd with him,” says Hollywood manager Howard Lapides, who has repped Carson Daly, Jimmy Kimmel and others.

    “Fallon will eventually develop his own audience, but it could take years.

    “If Jay Leno was my client I would take him straight to Fox tomorrow.”

    But that is not possible — yet.

    Leno remains under contract with NBC through May 2014 and likely has language in his contract that would bar him from negotiating with another network for several more months.

    Fox has long been yearning to get into the late night business, but hasn’t been able to find the right personality.

    The network briefly courted Conan O’Brien in 2010, but couldn’t come up with a money-making formula based on his ratings history, insiders say.

    “I think their affiliates have been very happy putting off-network comedies like ‘Seinfeld’ on after the news,” says Brad Adgate, VP of Research at Horizon Media.

    But Leno “would be a different thing altogether,” a Fox source says. “He has more ratings power.

    “We could go at 11 p.m., against the other network newscasts.”

    Fox appears to be by far the most viable option for the embattled comic.

  • Brad

    Great article. One problem, Kimmel has a younger median age then Leno even though Leno has a bigger audience. I also believe Kimmel does more advertisement gags then Leno does meaning Kimmel ranks in some extra dough Leno doesn’t do. I say the two shows are very competitive in making money then simply “Leno has better ratings thus creates more revenue”. I

    I believe Leno always gets the short end of the stick. Even when he was fired at 10pm, they offered Leno a 30-minute show before Conan’s. Leno did not want to do it but Leno just wants to tell his jokes that he works 80% of his late night show time to.

    Anyways, the man deserves to continue telling jokes somewhere on television. Sure it is all business to him, but it is business that he loves conducting. I always had sympathy for him. I was actually on Team Leno during the whole Tonight Show conflict until I saw Leno say he was going to “retire” and I got a hold of Carter’s book. Still felt bad for Leno though. His biggest problem, by the way, is not standing up for himself. He always does what he’s told and when people from NBC want to kick him out of his slot, he never bulks up and says no or make demands.

  • jcfreder

    So now that NBC put decent programming on the air Monday, Jay crushed Kimmel. Still planning on pulling the plug? As with every other NBC plan of the last decade, there is enough of a lag time to the transition to ensure that NBC can back out if it wants.

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