A bit of Presidential star power surged up late night for ABC on Thursday against mixed competition. The first sitdown visit from Barack Obama to Jimmy Kimmel Live! put the show easily in the top spot both in viewers and adults 18-49. Comically reading tweets as well as getting into serious issues like the shooting of two police officers in deeply divided Ferguson, the presence of POTUS helped pushed Kimmel up to his fourth biggest audience ever with 3.915 million tuning in. That was 34% better that last night’s encore of rival Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show over on NBC and 32% better than a new Late Show With David Letterman on CBS.
Compared to its March 5 show, JKL was up 30% in total viewers. In second place last week, Kimmel had 2.994 million viewers to an original Fallon’s 3.440 million and third place Letterman’s 2.695 million. Among the key demo, last night’s Kimmel had 1.179 million viewers compared to the Fallon repeat’s 882,000 and Dave’s 727,000. Kimmel didn’t just have the President on, he also had Sean Penn shilling his new Gunman flick. Lena Dunham and Bobby Cannavale visited Letterman last night.
The largest ever-single day audience Kimmel has had was his latest season premiere on September 25, 2014 when 4.045 million tuned in. With an audience of 4.028 million the second most watched was the April 17, 2014 Behind The Scandalabra episode that went deep into the Shonda Rhimes show Scandal with its creator. The November 25, 2014 JKL! Took the third spot with 3.954 million watching with Chris Pine and Evangeline Lilly as guest and Pitbull and Ne-Yo performing.
A pre-Presidential Obama had previously appeared on Kimmel back in June 2008 via satellite. With results like last night, they might want to get him back again – though L.A. drivers might not like so much.