Maybe NBC has a ratings resurgence plan that goes beyond getting The Voice back on the air? Although Jay Leno‘s ratings have been solid for a while, something seems to be stirring for the better in late-night because the more the embattled Tonight Show host makes fun of NBC, the better his ratings get. As rumors swirled that Leno was going to be replaced by Jimmy Fallon, Leno saw his best total viewership in almost two months, hitting a four-week high in the adults 18-49 demographic for the week of March 18-22. That’s when Leno took some of his best shots at NBC brass over the network’s fortunes and their handling of the Fallon reports. The Tonight Show drew 3.522 million viewers on average for the week, topping CBS’ Late Show With David Letterman for a 22nd week in a row and ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live! for an 11th week in a row. In the demo, Leno scored an average of 922,000 viewers in the demo, better than Kimmel all week and Letterman on March 18-20.
And after taking a break for a few days this week, Leno has resumed sticking it to NBC in his monologues for sticking it to him. Note to NBC: This is not the guy you want to get rid of, this is the guy you want to antagonize so he’ll rip you and the ratings will grow even more.