An appearance by President Barack Obama, a first for a sitting president, delivered the highest Tonight Show rating in metered market households since the program’s tribute to Johnny Carson in Jan. 2005. The Tonight Show delivered an 11.2/26 rating Thursday, tying the Carson tribute and improving upon its season average by 187%. The last time The Tonight Show drew a higher metered market rating was May, 1998, following the Seinfeld series finale, when it drew a 12.4.
The show was the fourth highest rated metered market household rating in the 16 years Leno has been hosting the program. The only nights topping it were Leno’s first night hosting in May, 1992, the night of the Cheers finale in May, 1993 and the night of the Seinfeld finale.
via Broadcasting & Cable.