Jay Leno’s ratings numbers continue to impress. In his final May sweep before handing over the Tonight Show anchor desk to Jimmy Fallon in February, the NBC late-night show won the key ratings period from April 25-May 22. Tonight bettered time-slot rivals Late Show With David Letterman at CBS and Jimmy Kimmel Live at ABC in every category, and matched its highest margin of victory over Letterman in the 18-49 viewers in nine years. Against Kimmel, Leno grew its 18-49 lead compared with the February sweeps from 12% to 30% in 18-49 and from 39% to 42% in total viewers. (See the full chart below.) For the May sweep, Leno generated bigger audiences than its broadcast rivals in every key category: adults, men and women 18-34, 18-49 and 25-54, plus total viewers.
Leno has won every week this season in total viewers and delivered bigger 18-49 audiences than Letterman for the last 27 weeks in a row. He’s also topped Kimmel for 18 of their 20 head-to-head weeks.
At 12:35, NBC’s Late Night With Jimmy Fallon topped rival CBS’ Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson and ABC’s Nightline in their head-to-head half-hour. Fallon generated his biggest May margins ever over second-place Ferguson in the five May sweeps in which they’ve faced off.
MAY 2013 SWEEP
TOTAL VIEWERS…ADULTS 18-49 RATING
11:35 PM-12:35 AM
Tonight Show/Leno (NBC)…3.5 million…1.075 million; 0.8/4
Late Show/Letterman (CBS)…2.8 million…775,000; 0.6/3
Jimmy Kimmel Live (ABC)…2.5 million…826,000; 0.7/3
Nightline (ABC)…1.6 million…N/A; 0.4/2
Late Night/Fallon (NBC)…1.7 million…649,000; 0.5/3
Late Late Show/Ferguson (CBS)…1.4 million…469,000; 0.4/2
Last Call/Daly (NBC)…0.9 million…N/A; 0.3/2