If you see Les Moonves skipping down the street, it’s because there’s yet more bad news for NBC Universal’s Jeff Zucker, according to Nielsen live plus same day ratings for the week ending September 25th, the first week of the 2009-2010 fall TV season. Calling it a “banner premiere week for CBS late night”, CBS publicists are crowing that David Letterman’s Late Show beat NBC’s Tonight Show in eyeballs as well as adults 18-49 and adults 25-54 for the first time since 2005. And the two shows tied in adults 18-34. Now, to be fair, Conan O’Brien did hit his head during a skit, went by ambulance to the hospital, and sat out Friday’s show (a repeat aired). But, geez, Zucker can’t even make the claims anymore than O’Brien is bringing in a younger audience than Letterman despite the hosts’ age difference because Dave placed placed 1st on all five nights in adults 18-49. And I’m waiting for the inevitable last shoe to drop: that Conan’s numbers are falling because of the weakness of the Jay Leno Show at 10 PM. (Hollywood expects a revolt by NBC affiliates any minute now when a month of numbers come in for their local news shows…) Remember, it was Jeff who Zuckered NBCU into switching hosts of The Tonight Show and cratering its longtime cash cow.
That’s not the only good news for CBS. The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson also placed 1st in viewers, and adults 25-54, and tied in adults 18-49 with NBC’s Late Night With Jimmy Fallon.