ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live beat an original episode of NBC’s The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon in the demo for the first time ever on Kimmel’s NBA Finals-fueled Thursday night last week. With its NBA Finals lead-in, Thursday’s Kimmel-cast clocked 1.482 million demo viewers to Fallon’s 1.226 million. But, despite Kimmel’s NBA lead-in on Thursday night, Fallon beat Kimmel, and CBS’ Late Show With David Letterman, in every key ratings measure for the week, including more overall viewers every night.
Last year, Kimmel’s week included repeats on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. This year he repeated on Wednesday and Friday, and was up 15%. Tonight, however, scored the bigger year-to-year gains — 27%.
For the week, Fallon averaged 3.502 million viewers to Kimmel’s 2.763 million and Letterman’s 2.482 million. In the demo, Fallon averaged a 1.12 rating — a 45% edge over Kimmel’s 0.77 and a 155% lead over Letterman’s 0.44.