Jimmy Kimmel Live! had its best ratings run since October as the ABC series topped the late-night demo last week.
The talk show won the late-night ratings among adults 18-49 during the week of May 17, beating NBC’s The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and CBS’ The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.
It ends Fallon’s 12-week run at the demo (in live+same day, although when live+three numbers are added, the three shows are essentially in a dead heat).
Jimmy Kimmel Live!, which had guests on including Chris Rock and Samira Wiley, averaged 359,000 viewers in the demo in Live+Same Day data, compared to The Tonight Show’s 338,000 and The Late Show’s 278,000. Similarly, when the plus three numbers are added tomorrow, all three shows are expected to be on a 0.3.
It should be noted that The Late Show continues to comfortably dominate in total viewers. But Kimmel has cemented its No. 2 position in total viewers this season, ahead of The Tonight Show for the first time. The ABC show leads the NBC show in total viewers by 14% — 1.75 million compared to 1.54 million.
Kimmel told Deadline recently that he hopes to have audiences back in the studio next month. “We are hopeful that we can let people who want to see the show into our building and rest of the staff,” he said. “June 15 is the date that the governor established as our get-back-to really-normal date, so we’re hoping that means we can get back to normal here but nobody really knows,” he said.
Rob Mills, EVP, Unscripted and Alternative Entertainment, Walt Disney Television, told Deadline how pleased he was with Kimmel’s recent ratings.
“I know I’m on the home team here but I think, Jimmy, really is the best host of late-night. It’s really a golden era, I think Fallon, Conan and Trevor Noah, they’re all fantastic, but Jimmy’s got the institutional knowledge. He’s been there the longest now and he’s still great every night. We’re really excited [by the performance],” Mills said.
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