With Multi-Week Highs, ABC Ranks No. 1 in Late-Night in Viewers and Adults 18-49

Categories: Late Night TV Ratings,Press Releases

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March 28th, 2013


via press release:

With Multi-Week Highs, ABC Ranks No. 1 in Late-Night in Viewers and Adults 18-49


ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live” Draws its Largest Overall Audience in Eight Weeks


ABC’s “Nightline” Grows Week to Week in All Key Demos


ABC Late-Night (Monday – Friday)

With its new lineup of “Jimmy Kimmel Live” at 11:35 p.m. and “Nightline” at 12:35 a.m., ABC delivered its best performance in late-night in Total Viewers in 4 weeks (2.222 million) and in Adults 18-49 in 3 weeks (762,000) – since the weeks of 2/18/13 and 2/25/13, respectively.


ABC’s new late-night lineup posted gains over the Net’s performance on the year-ago week (2.105 million and 719,000 on w/o 3/19/12) of 6% in Total Viewers and 6% in Adults 18-49.


  • For the 16th time this season, ABC was the most-watched network in late-night (2.222 million), outdrawing CBS by 2% (2.182 million) and NBC by 4% (2.127 million).


  • Taking the top spot in 9 of 11 weeks with its new lineup, ABC stood as the No. 1 network in late-night once again in Adults 18-49 (762,000), beating CBS by 8% (706,000) and NBC by 11% (684,000). Overall, ABC has ranked No. 1 in 19 of the 26 weeks this season in young adults—almost triple the wins of NBC (5) and CBS (2) combined.


“Jimmy Kimmel Live” (M-F 11:35 p.m.)

During the week of March 18, ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live” pulled in its biggest overall audience in 2 months (2.572 million) and delivered its best performance among Adults 18-49 in 3 weeks (889,000) – since the weeks of 1/21/13 and 2/25/13, respectively. “JKL” also saw impressive gains over the same week last year (1.586 million and 597,000 on w/o 3/19/12) of 62% in Total Viewers and 49% among Adults 18-49, growing year over year in each week since moving to 11:35 p.m.


  • Thursday’s airing of “JKL” (on 3/21/13) was the week’s No. 1 telecast in late-night in Adults 18-34 (428,000).


  • Despite airing a repeat telecast on Friday (versus all-originals for “Tonight Show”), ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live” was just 7,000 Adult 18-34 viewers from NBC’s “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” during the week (325,000 vs. 332,000) and less than 100,000 Adult 18-49 viewers from the NBC program (889,000 vs. 982,000).


  • ABC’s “JKL” beat CBS’ “The Late Show with David Letterman” by 3% in Adults 18-34 (325,000 vs. 315,000), marking the ABC program’s 10th win in 11 weeks over “Letterman.”


On average through its first 11 weeks at 11:35 p.m., ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live” stands just 80,000 Adult 18-49 viewers from NBC’s “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” (934,000 vs. 1.014 million). In fact, “JKL” has virtually eliminated its entire young adult gap with “Leno” since the move to 11:35 p.m. (-83% - 80,000 vs. 464,000), as almost 500,000 Adult 18-49 viewers stood between the two late-night programs during the same 11 weeks last year.


“JKL” outdelivers CBS’ “The Late Show with David Letterman” by 60,000 Adult 18-49 viewers head to head at 11:35 p.m. (+7% - 934,000 vs. 874,000).


Among Adults 18-34, ABC’s “JKL” (332,000) beats NBC’s “The Tonight Show” by 4% (319,000) and CBS’ “The Late Show” by 20% (276,000).


Eleven weeks into its new 11:35 p.m. time slot, ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live” is up over its performance through this point last year by 42% in Adults 18-49 (934,000 vs. 657,000) and by 46% in Adults 18-34 (332,000 vs. 228,000), standing as the only late-night broadcast talk show to improve year over year in both Nielsen measures.


“JKL” is improving the hour for ABC over the comparable 11 weeks in 2012 by 6% in Adults 18-49 (934,000 vs. 877,000) and by 18% in Adults 18-34 (332,000 vs. 282,000).


“Nightline” (M-F 12:35 a.m.)

For the week of March 18, ABC’s “Nightline” attracted 1.444 million Total Viewers, 638,000 Adults 25-54 and 479,000 Adults 18-49, according to Nielsen Media Research. “Nightline” outdrew CBS’ “The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson” by +41,000 Total Viewers.


“Nightline” posted week-to-week increases across all key target demos: Total Viewers (+13%), Adults 25-54 (+12%) and Adults 18-49 (+8%) – 1.275 million, 572,000 and 442,000, respectively, for w/o 3/11/13.


“Nightline” improved on ABC’s performance in the time period on the same week last year in Total Viewers (+6% - 1.362 million on w/o 3/19/12). “Nightline” has improved year to year in 10 of 11 weeks since moving to its new time slot. The ABC program was the only program to see its overall audience grow, as CBS’ “The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson” was down (-8%), while NBC’s “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” was flat.


On average in its new time period, “Nightline” has improved ABC’s performance compared to the same 11 weeks last year in Total Viewers (+12%). In addition, “Nightline” leads CBS’ “The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson” by +98,000 Total Viewers and by +25,000 Adults 25-54.



Late-Night (Week of Mar 18):   TOTAL VIEWERS  A18-49(000)

ABC                              2,222,000      762,000

CBS                              2,182,000      706,000

NBC                              2,127,000      684,000


Please note: Due to coverage of the NCAA Basketball Tournament, the Thursday and Friday telecasts of “Letterman” and “Ferguson” are excluded from their weekly averages.


Source: The Nielsen Company, Live + Same Day National Program Ratings for weeks of 3/18/13 & 3/19/12 or as dated. Most Current - First 11 Weeks of 2013 (1/8/13 – 3/24/13, “JKL” and “Nightline” are excluded on 1/7/13) and First 11 Weeks of 2012 (1/9/12 – 3/25/12). Comparisons based on 000s.


ABC Late-Night = “JKL” and “Nightline”; CBS Late-Night = “Late Show” and “Ferguson”; NBC Late-Night = “Tonight Show,” “Fallon” and “Carson Daly.”


  • Mike


  • InternJack


    David Letterman’s contract is up in 2014.

    Craig Ferguson’s contract is up in 2014.

    Knowing that NBC is already saying that Jimmy Fallon will take over the Tonight Show spot


    knowing that Jimmy Kimmel is also in that time spot and ALREADY increasing in viewers (now we know where some of Jay Leno’s 3million viewer lead over David Letterman is going),

    who do you think CBS will schedule in the 11:30ET time slot?

    Dave or Craig?


  • scott


    I agree with you,

    I think Craig, Colbert, Handler, O’brien is the top late night talent right now but the problem is 11:30 across the board is middle american “full house” style comedy , thus why you have fallon, kimmel etc. Cable and the internet for latenight is where younger viewers are. So I don’t think CBS would want to be risky with craig even though he’s good. CBS really doesn’t need their news/late night francises to be successful as NBC needs theirs to be so maybe they’ll give craig an honest chance. If O’brien and Craig switched networks in 2014 it would better fit each’s brand. It’s overall sad that the networks settle for lackluster middle american comedy vs. edgy ironically for going after younger viewers.

    If I wa the head of ABC I would’ve never swapped Kimmel and night line when they had 1st place. I would’ve let kimmel walk and picked up someone else. It’s over saturated with blandness at 11:30 when everyone’s no longer watching. The fallon change is simply based on online real estate that leno doesn’t have.

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