ABC this morning boasted Nightline had won its first ever February sweep in its later timeslot in total viewers, clocking ABC’s largest overall February sweep crowd in the slot in eight years. It was, ABC noted, the late-night newsmag’s second consecutive win in overall audience and its third of the last four. ABC’s accounting has Nightline beating NBC’s Late Night with Seth Meyers by 144,000 viewers and CBS’s Late Late Show With Various Fill-In Hosts by 499,000.
NBC notes ABC is comparing the shorter Nightline time period to Meyers’ entire program and that, in head to head competition in their common half-hour, Meyers pounds Nightline in total viewers (1.819 million to 1.711 million) and in every other key measure. We’re not saying NBC wonders how ABC can sleep at night after issuing such horseradish, but you get the sense they would, had they not been properly brought up.
Nightline did this with older viewers; it did not take the sweep in the news demo — Meyers won the ratings derby in both key demos, including his 759,000 viewers aged 25-54, to Nightline’s 715,000 and Late Late Show’s 506,000. Meyers also finished first with his target 18-49 year olds with 652,000, besting Nightline’s 536,000 viewers and LLS’s 393,000.
Nightline was the the only 12:35 AM program to grow from the year-ago sweep; Meyers was down by 54% in overall audience, 56% in the demo and 61% in the news demo — because last February he followed the Sochi Olympics.
LLS, meanwhile, is down 12% in overall crowd, 25% in the demo and 28% in the news demo – because it’s a captain-less ship, with host Craig Ferguson gone and the show about to be shuttered to make way for a new late-night program starring James Corden debuting March 23.