UPDATE: Refined numbers are in, and the final episode of Late Night With Jimmy Fallon drew 6.6 million viewers, its largest audience ever. In an encouraging sign for Fallon‘s prospects at The Tonight Show, he delivered the largest viewership for the Late Night franchise since the final show of David Letterman on June 25, 1993 (7.5 million). Fallon outdrew every episode of his predecessor, Conan O’Brien. In adults 18-49, the final Late Night with Jimmy Fallon posted a 2.2 rating, the highest ever for a regularly scheduled episode and the second highest behind the special post-Super Bowl show in 2005 (2.5), which also held Late Night with Jimmy Fallon‘s previous viewership record with 6.1 million.
PREVIOUS 7 AM: He’ll be taking over The Tonight Show on February 17 but last night was an Olympic high all unto itself for Jimmy Fallon. One night after Jay Leno took his last bow on Tonight with monster ratings, his successor’s final Late Night hit a series ratings record of its own in metered-market results. Airing at 12:05 AM after NBC’s coverage of the Opening Ceremony of the Sochi Winter Olympic Games, Late Night With Jimmy Fallon drew a 4.8/12 rating. That’s the best Fallon’s show has done since its March 2, 2009 debut and beats the previous night’s record of 4.6/15 after Leno’s farewell. With 55 of the 56 markets metered by Nielsen (Philadelphia was excluded on Friday) reporting, the last Late Night more than tripled the show’s 1.5 metered-market season average results. Probably didn’t hurt that Fallon had the Muppets among his last guests, along with fellow former SNLer Andy Samberg – everyone loves the Muppets.